Edith Honan and Joan Gralla
April 17, 2008

NEW YORK (Reuters) – New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg on Thursday called on the U.S. government to pay $150 million a year to cover medical bills for workers and residents whose health suffered due to the September 11, 2001, attacks.

The federal government created a $1 billion insurance fund to help ground zero workers sickened by the toxic fumes and dust released when the World Trade Center was destroyed.

The fund, however, has been hobbled by lawsuits and criticized for a lack of payments to sick workers.

The request for the health payments was among the top priorities for the mayor, who provided an update on Thursday for his second and last term that ends in 2010.

As home to numerous billionaires, the city regularly plays host to political fund raisers and Bloomberg said he wants donors to ask the country’s politicians to support his priorities.

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