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Congress optimistic on 9/11 health care bill

December 19, 2010 12:00:00 AM PST
There's fresh optimism that Congress will pass a health care bill for Sept. 11 first responders by the end of the week.The current version of the bill has stalled in the Senate, with some Republicans saying the $7 billion price tag is too expensive.

But New York senators Kirsten Gillibrand and Charles Schumer say they've come up with an alternate plan that would cost about a $1 billion less.

"It's not a done deal," said Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.). "There may be yet unforeseen hurdles, but barring a setback we believe we're on the path to victory by the end of this week."

The bill for Sept. 11 first responders would provide health care and compensate them for health issues related to their work at ground zero.