When it comes to Obamacare, many Americans can tell you they hate it and will vote against it. They fail to realize that the system is not perfect but was meant as a step in the right direction. It included several benefits to encompass occupations that are thought to be remnants of the past.
One of those occupations is coal mining.
While many coal miners did not agree with Trump’s rhetoric, they voted for him because he promised to reopen the mines.
As of February 2017, he has failed to deliver his promise and while many coal miners blame environmentalists, economists disagree.
The U.S. coal industry is failing to thrive due to a wave of bankruptcies and mine closures in the face of falling demand, a global surplus supply of coal, combined with international efforts to reduce carbon emissions.
According to the US Department of Labor:
The first amendment mandates a presumption of total disability or death caused by pneumoconiosis for coal miners who worked for at least 15 years in underground (or comparable surface) mining and who suffer or suffered from a totally disabling respiratory impairment. The second amendment provides automatic entitlement for eligible survivors of miners who were themselves entitled to receive benefits as a result of a lifetime claim.
The re-instated amendments are 30 United States Code 921(c)(4) and 30 U.S.C. 932(l); and they are contained in Section 1556 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and apply to claims filed after Jan. 1, 2005, that are pending on or after March 23, 2010.
The final rule addresses the automatic entitlement of certain survivors and the 15-year entitlement presumption as it applies to miners’ and their survivors’ claims. In addition, the rule eliminates several unnecessary or obsolete provisions in accordance with Executive Order 13563.
Who ensured that provisions will be included in Obamacare?
The late West Virginia Democratic Senator Robert Byrd supplied what is now known as “The Byrd Amendments” where the burden of proof was shifted from the miners to the companies that employed them. In simpler context, if a minor with several years underground and can prove respiratory disability, it will be related to mine work, unless the company can provide proof otherwise.
It is not a crime to voice your opinion on matters such as Affordable Healthcare. It is a crime to remove the only thing protecting people from dealing with life ending diseases from their occupation.
Feature Image by Joe Raedle/Getty Images
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