Congressional Plans to Repeal the ACA Will Harm Victims of Black Lung

Executive Summary

As NPR has recently noted black lung is not a thing of the past, with the numbers of those infected rising at “epidemic rates.” Health and worker safety experts say the rates of the disease are hitting hardest in several states, such as Virginia, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Ohio and Kentucky. If congressional plans to repeal of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) are successful, “coal workers will again face an uphill battle to obtain benefits and their surviving spouses will no longer qualify for benefits,” Managing Attorney for the N.C. Office Sarah Somers writes. Somers details how the ACA and Medicaid expansion are vital to the well-being of individuals and families in states hardest hit by black lung disease, and explains how repealing those provisions will “pose a threat to miners and their families.”

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