JERSEY CITY - The 9/11 Health and Compensation Act, better known as the Zadroga Act, has been renewed by Congress.

The act provides funds for the medical coverage of first responders who developed medical conditions after working at Ground Zero after the Sept. 11 terrorist attack.

The act had previously expired, and some members of Congress were reluctant to continue it because they felt the act was too expensive. More than 70,000 people received medical care under the act. More than $1 billion has been distributed in aid so far.

However, many first responders, advocates and even comedian and television host Jon Stewart lobbied for the importance of the act. Thanks to their efforts, the House reached an agreement as part of a spending bill to renew the act for the next five years.

The Zadroga Act is named for Port Authority officer James Zadroga of North Arlington. He was the first known responder to die of a 9/11-related illness.