Deal Reached On Health Bill For 9-11 First Responders
Oklahoma Senator Tom Coburn, who has stood in the way of the heath bill for 9-11 responders, says a deal has been reached for passage of the bill.
Coburn emerged from a closed-door meeting that included Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and New York Democrats Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand to reveal that that a deal has been worked out that will likely enable the bill to pass the Senate – and then the House – by the end of the day.
“I’ll stand in the way of anything that doesn’t make sense and doesn’t spend our money wisely, so you know, it doesn’t matter what the issue is, we’re in such a hole, Jon, that we don’t have the luxury of not getting things right,” Coburn told ABC News’ Jonathan Karl. “And so we’ve come to an agreement that costs less, doesn’t allow double-dipping, doesn’t allow exorbitant lawyer fees, and we’ve worked it out and so we’re going to take care of the folks, but we’re going to do it in a way that doesn’t punish the people that are going to pay the bill.”
“But the way you’ve been hammered on this, standing against the heroes of 9/11…,” replied Karl.
Coburn said he wasn’t standing against the workers, “I’m standing for us as America.”
The compromise mandates the closing of the Victims Compensation Fund within five years, limits fees paid out to attorneys, and closes loopholes that allow people to re-file claims that have previously been rejected by the Fund, a source told ABC News.
Pictured is Joseph Zadroga, son of James Zadroga, for whom the the bill is named. James Zadroga was a NYPD officer who died in 2006 of respiratory disease, attributed to exposure to toxic chemicals at Ground Zero.Click here for reuse options!
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