DAPHNE RETTER and TOM TOPOUSIS
NY Post 
Thursday, July 31, 2008
Federal legislation to help those suffering health problems from the World Trade Center terrorist attacks could cost taxpayers up to $13 billion, The Post has learned.
The bill, which will go before a House hearing today and is strongly backed by Mayor Bloomberg, would reopen the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund and would provide funding for medical care for downtown residents and for firefighters, cops, EMTs and construction workers who worked at Ground Zero.
The preliminary estimate of the cost of the measure by the Congressional Budget Office ranged from $8 billion to $13 billion, congressional sources said.
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The staggering cost figure hasn’t been publicly disclosed yet but was revealed to The Post by sources.
Under the bill, roughly 35,000 people living within 1.5 miles of Ground Zero would be eligible for medical benefits at a projected cost of $3.1 billion. Thousands of first-responders would also receive medical aid at a cost of $2 billion.
As many as 85,000 first-responders could be eligible for medical aid. But the overall cost for their care is less than for residents because most of the first-responders have health insurance that covers a large share of their medical bills, sources said.