On Aug. 11, 2013, I wrote a letter that was printed in this paper. It stated in part:
“Black lung health protections used to exist but were removed in 1981 when the ailment was thought to be waning. However, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health estimates that cases of black lung have doubled since 1995 and more than 10,000 miners have died from the disease in the last decade. Under Section 1556 of Obamacare, the sufferers of black lung will have their benefits restored and expanded. Black lung benefits also have been amended so that a widow is automatically entitled to benefits if the miner had been awarded them at the time of his death.”
With these benefits now enacted, and miners and their spouses deriving the life-sustaining health and financial benefits of this new Obamacare benefit, many of these Kentucky mining families voted for Donald Trump, who campaigned on repealing Obamacare as his first executive action.
To the coal mining families who are now fretting that they will lose their financial and health benefits, all one can say is you reap what you sow.