A bipartisan group from the U.S. House of Representatives called on representatives from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) and federal contractor Logistics Health Incorporated (LHI) to provide a briefing about services—or lack thereof—provided to survivors and first responders of 9/11. LHI contracts to provide medical services for those affected by 9/11 who no longer live in the New York metropolitan area, which includes about 24,000 patients.
The LHI healthcare program provides medical care for those exposed to the 9/11 site who suffered certain health conditions. In recent weeks, both employees of LHI and 9/11 survivors participating in the program raised concerns that LHI failed to provide access to necessary healthcare services to participants.
Congress members summoned NIOSH and LHI representatives before the House Oversight and Reform and House Judiciary committees by September 17, 2021. Congress expected the health providers to provide specific actions the agency and company planned to take to rectify the concerns about the 9/11 program failures. A separate hearing took place earlier in the week with NIOSH about how the agency oversees contractors working with the 9/11 program.
House Representatives hope to gain actionable information that improves the experience and healthcare access that 9/11 survivors deserve and that Congress has funded through NIOSH.
Who Is Affected?
Many people who now live throughout the United States are still dealing with debilitating health problems from exposure to the dust cloud at the 9/11 site, including:
- Survivors who worked in the World Trade Center towers
- First responders, including fire departments, police officers, and emergency medical personnel
- Volunteers and cleanup crews
- Anyone who lived, attended school, or worked in the exposure zone
Such individuals can qualify for free medical care for any conditions that stemmed from their exposure. For example, one now 72-year-old man helped with cleanup efforts for seven months. He has since received diagnoses of asthma, anxiety disorder, sinusitis, and respiratory issues. A wide range of health issues, including various cancers, stem from 9/11 exposure.
Survivors who remained in the New York City area can seek services at specified NYC-area hospitals. For people who moved away in the past 20 years—like the 72-year-old man mentioned above— LHI contracted hospitals should provide free services.
Unfortunately, many survivors feel that LHI is failing to provide services as promised. Some people are not getting necessary medications approved on time, while others received bills for free services. LHI is not properly covering these expenses. Those suffering from cancer, mental health conditions, and other 9/11 health effects need that coverage.
Program participants should watch the hearings to learn more about how Congress aims to guarantee the healthcare services they need and deserve. Moreover, you can find and write to your U.S. representative through the House website.
You can also ask your U.S. Senator to support the House’s efforts. Together, we can let them know they need to ensure that this nation—and LHI—must take proper care of the people who labored through the toxic dust cloud and then got seriously ill after they helped America get back to work after 9/11.
If you survived or worked in cleaning up after the 9/11 terrorist attacks and now suffer from a medical condition, an experienced 9/11 benefits lawyer can help you obtain assistance from federal programs established to pay for your care and compensate you for the harm you suffered. CONTACT a skilled attorney online or call us at 855-353-4907 today for a free consultation.
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