I am pleased to announce that on December 18, 2015, President Obama signed into law a bill reauthorizing the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act of 2010. This includes reauthorization of the World Trade Center (WTC) Health Program for 75 years, ending in 2090.
The very good news about the reauthorization is that you can be assured of uninterrupted healthcare from the WTC Health Program in the future.
What does the reauthorization change about the current Program:
While the renewal of the Program includes changes to some aspects of the Program, your medical monitoring and treatment benefits will not be affected.
Here are highlights of the changes to WTC Health Program:
- Provides an appropriation of $330M for FY 2016 and sets specific funding amounts for the first 10 years. Future increases are tied to the Consumer Price Index for all urban consumers, and unused funds from one year can be rolled over into future years.
- Requires for an independent peer review of the scientific and technical evidence prior to adding a condition to the List of WTC-Related Health Conditions.
- Changes the deadline for the Administrator of the WTC Health Program to act on petitions to add health conditions to within 90 days from 60 days.
- Requires the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to assess and report on the Program’s quality assurance, certification procedures, and program integrity. The first report is due 18 months after the reauthorization and subsequent reports are due every 5 years thereafter.
Thank you for your continued support. I wish you and your friends and families a very Happy New Year. If you have any questions about the WTC Health Program, please call us at 1-888-982-4748 or email us at WTC@cdc.gov.
Thank you,John Howard, M.D.
Administrator, World Trade Center Health Program