Local leaders rallied at World Trade Center for extended health care for 9/11 first responders

LOWER MANHATTAN (WABC) -- Dozens of people protested at the World Trade Center site over proposed health and compensation cuts for 9/11 first responders.

They say a new congressional proposal to extend the Zadroga Act for another five years does not provide adequate funding for health care.

Local congressman and first responders demand that congress keep its promise and take care of the men and women who unselfishly answered the country's call for help 14 years ago.

"We're here now fighting for reauthorization when everyone knows that the people who were there, firefighters, police officers, and other first responders, and others, are sick and dying at record numbers," said Steve Cassidy, of the Uniformed Firefighters Association.

"The United States has always promised, has always prided itself on that we don't leave our wounded on the battlefield, well we leave our wounded on the battlefield unless we reauthorize the James Zadroga Act," said Rep. Jerrold Nadler, (D) New York.

Monday's gathering was in response to a bill proposed by Republicans last week, and an alternative proposal to cut Zadroga funding by about 60% and limit it to five years.

James Zadroga was an NYPD officer who joined the rescue and recovery efforts at ground zero and passed away in 2006 at age 34 because of health complications related to 9/11.
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