HONOLULU (Reuters) - U.S. President Barack Obama
Sunday signed into law a bill that funds medical care for
firefighters and other responders to the Sept. 11, 2001
The five-year, $4.3 billion measure will provide medical
treatment for emergency responders sickened by toxic dust
inhaled at the World Trade Center site in New York in the days
following the hijacked plane attacks.
It also includes a health program for responders sickened
by the toxic debris and establishes a victims' compensation
fund. Victims have five years to file claims.
Thousands of firefighters, police and other rescue and
cleanup workers contracted respiratory problems and other
illnesses from working at the World Trade Center site in the
aftermath of the attacks.
U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand of New York welcomed the
"Our nation -- Democrats, Republicans, and Independents --
all came together to do what was right and provide health care
to the brave men and women who served with such heroism in the
days and weeks following 9/11," she said in a statement.
Obama is on vacation in Hawaii. He arrives back in
Washington on Tuesday.
(Reporting by Jeff Mason; editing by Todd Eastham)
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