“This two-page bill is all we need to keep one of the good things found among the two thousand pages of Obamacare,” said Griffith. “While I support repealing Obamacare, I believe it is wrong to take away these Black Lung benefits that miners and their widows need. My legislation would keep intact the amendments that were made to the Black Lung Benefits Act as part of the health care law.”
Coal worker’s pneumoconiosis, or Black Lung, is a disease that impacts our nation’s miners. Miners who are diagnosed with the disease are entitled to certain federal monetary and medical benefits under the Black Lung Benefits Program.
The Black Lung Amendments of 1981 eliminated certain presumptions of disease and disability in miners' claims filed and eliminated the presumption of death due to Black Lung for claims by a surviving spouse. The latter meant the widow had to prove that their spouse’s death was caused by Black Lung. But amendments to Obamacare made by former Senator Robert C. Byrd (D-WV) restored these presumptions of benefits.
Congressman Griffith has introduced similar legislation in previous years since the 113th Congress in the anticipation that someday, Obamacare would be repealed. This year, the repeal of Obamacare is imminent.