According to a federal report written by the Government Accountability Office, the federal government does not have enough health programs for 9/11 workers. The report states that thousands of responders don’t have access to suitable health programs.
According to the report, the health care estimates from last year are very questionable. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health used assumptions, inconsistent data, and instances of double billing to create the estimates, so officials do not know if the office over or under estimated.
The report also criticized the health care program for non-federal employees. These workers do not have access to the same amount and level of health care that federal workers in the New York City area do. The G.A.O. recommended that a national health care plan for ground zero workers be created.
An estimate for 9/11 health programs released late last year and analyzed by the accountability office put the annual cost of monitoring and treatment services, along with associated expenses, at $230 million to $283 million, depending on the number of workers who seek help.
This year’s cost estimates are around $195 million. But the report said costs could be anywhere from $428 million to $712 if more workers registered for the health programs and a larger percentage of responders need medical or mental health treatment.
The report has shown that there are considerable amounts of funds needed to pay for the healthcare of 9/11 workers for this year and the foreseeable future. Money for treatment only became available last year, and more funds were approved this year which could be used for next year’s budget.