The chances of a $712.5 million settlement being approved by responders and cleanup workers at Ground Zero who sued over respiratory and other illnesses received a boost Wednesday as the U.S. House of Representatives approved a bill that sets aside $7.4 billion to provide compensation and free health care.

The passage of the Zadroga Bill by a vote of 268-160 came after changes in the proposed legislation that would ensure that police, firefighters and cleanup workers do not have to choose between the bill and the proposed settlement with New York City and its contractors who are insured through the federally funded World Trade Center Captive Insurance Co.

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