Treasury Division refunds almost $four million to FDNY 9/11 first responders well being program

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“This nation owes a profound debt of gratitude to the 9/11 first responders,” a Treasury Division spokesperson informed CNN in an announcement. “This Administration is dedicated to supporting the heroes of 9/11 and we’re happy this matter has been efficiently resolved.”

The reimbursement seems to resolve an ongoing back-and-forth between New York officers and the federal Treasury Division over the funds beforehand shorted to the FDNY World Commerce Heart Well being Program.

“The Trump administration ought to have by no means held these funds hostage within the first place, and we’re completely satisfied they realized their error. We are going to proceed to observe this progress to make sure funds can be found for first responders with out federal interference,” a spokesperson for New York Metropolis Mayor Invoice de Blasio informed CNN.

Earlier this month, Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin acknowledged that his division withheld $3.92 million since 2004 from this system due to different money owed New York Metropolis the federal authorities, based on a letter he despatched earlier this month to de Blasio.

Within the letter, Mnuchin agreed that town’s firefighters should not endure the implications of federal debt squabbles, however nonetheless stated it is on town to rectify the funding hole.

“HHS has concluded that it has no authority to refund offsets to previous funds to FDNY to fulfill legitimate NYC money owed,” Mnuchin wrote. “We agree that it’s unfair to burden FDNY with the delinquent money owed of different NYC authorities entities. The Metropolis authorities ought to immediately reimburse FDNY.”

Mnuchin stated that ought to the New York Metropolis authorities choose to not reimburse the almost $four million shortfall, his division might launch funds to the FDNY program by offsetting the quantity towards future federal funds owed to town.

The letter was additionally despatched to 30 New York state officers together with Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo and US Sen. Chuck Schumer, one other Democrat who has been in correspondence with Treasury over the problem, based on his workplace.

“We’re glad Treasury lastly heeded the decision and did the fitting factor right here however we’ll hold watching them like a hawk to verify it does not occur once more,” Angelo Roefaro, a spokesperson for Schumer, informed CNN.

The FDNY World Commerce Heart Well being Program helps present complete bodily and psychological well being companies to all energetic and retired FDNY members who responded to the 9/11 assaults, for gratis to this system members. The Facilities for Medicare and Medicaid Providers, a federal company inside the Division of Well being and Human Providers, is answerable for disbursing funding to this system.

The FDNY United Firefighters Affiliation spoke publicly in latest months calling on the federal authorities to make the funds proper.

“I am completely satisfied to listen to that the tens of millions of funds that mysteriously disappeared from the FDNY WTC Healthcare Program have been returned and going ahead reimbursements is not going to be used to offset town’s debt. Ailing 9/11 first responders have sufficient to fret about and fortunately will not have to fret about their healthcare being compromised. I’m glad that Secretary Mnuchin discovered a technique to repair it, as we requested him to do every week in the past,” Uniformed Firefighters Affiliation President Andrew Ansbro stated in an announcement on Twitter.

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