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NEW YORK (WCBS 880) - The 9/11 health bill has been passed by the U.S. House of Representatives, but remains stalled in the U.S. Senate.
On Thursday night, a majority of ”The Daily Show with Jon Stewart” was devoted to the issue.
In the first segment, Stewart gave the regular newscaster take on the story – pointing out a lack of coverage from the major U.S. broadcast TV networks in their evening broadcasts and a strong bit of coverage from Al-Jazeera.
In the second segment, Stewart conducted a long on-set interview with four 9/11 first responders, all of them battling illnesses – including cancer and brain issues – acquired after time on, in, and around the pile at Ground Zero.
The third segment was an interview with former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, who has a new Christmas book out. But most of that interview as broadcast ended up focusing on the 9/11 health bill.
LINK: Watch the Full Episode
Thursday’s edition was the show’s last new one for the rest of the year.
The James Zadroga bill provides billions in funding to pay for responders to fight the illnesses they now have as a result of responding to one of our county’s darkest hours.
Police were on hand when 9/11 first responders marched on Capitol Hill on Thursday, urging Republican Senators to pass the bill.
After a meeting with Maine Republican Susan Collins, they walked away believing they have enough votes for passage.
Advocate John Feal tells the New York Daily News he was assured that if the bill goes to the Senate floor next week, it will be approved.
If no action is taken quickly, the legislation will be all but dead in the next Congress.
It is also hoped that having the tax cut bill out of the way will be good for the 9/11 health bill.
The number of New Yorkers getting treatment for illnesses that might be related to the toxic aftermath of 9/11 is slowly rising.
The National Institute for Occupation Safety and Health said Wednesday that as of Sept. 30, nearly 17,000 people had received care within the past year from health programs for people exposed to dust and fumes from the ruined World Trade Center.
That number was up about 7 percent from the start of the summer of 2009.
Most of the people getting care were firefighters, construction workers, police and other personnel who responded to the disaster.
About 2,500 neighborhood residents also got treatment within the past year.
(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)