NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- As the Zadroga 9/11 Act approaches expiration, many are demanding Congress instate permanent funding.
Volunteer first responder Jaime Hazan told WCBS 880's Levon Putney he spent all of Sept. 12, 2001 helping at Ground Zero -- just one day.
"Respiratory diseases, GERD, PTSD," Hazan said are the illnesses he now deals with.
So he wants Congress to re-up the James L. Zadroga 9/11 Health & Compensation Act, which pays the medical costs of first responders who came down with Ground Zer0-related illnesses.
"It blows my mind that we have to even have this discussion right now," Hazan said.
The bill's two critical programs providing medical treatment and compensation are set to expire in October 2015 and October 2016.
FealGood Foundation founder John Feal lost half of his leg at Ground Zero, and has been a big lobbier on the Zadroga act.
"When this bill expires, the illnesses that these men and women have contracted doesn't expire with it," Feal said. "We need more than a 5 year bill."
Feal said 9/11 first responders need permanent funding.
"If this isn't important, what the hell is?" said Congressman Bill Pascrell (D-NJ).
Pascrell thinks it will be a fight to get it through the U.S. House.
The bill is named for James Zadroga, an NYPD officer who died of a 9/11-related illness.
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