|Progressive massive fibrosis in underground miners |
with more than 25 years experience (Coal Workers’
Health Surveillance Program, Ky.,Va.,W.Va,1974–2015)
A 2016 report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Berkes's investigation found that black-lung disease is surging among Appalachian coal miners. Lawmakers responded in December to the report and investigation by asking the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, the U.S. Department of Labor Coal Mine Workers' Compensation Program and black-lung clinics funded by the Health Resources and Services Administration to work together do a better job obtaining counts of progressive massive fibrosis, the most progressive form of black lung.
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act "included special provisions that make it easier for coal miners to get black lung benefits," West Virginia Public Broadcasting reports. "Republicans introduced an alternative plan to replace Obamacare, but the first attempt failed to get support. Still, this might not be the end of America’s health care story. In a recent visit to West Virginia, Vice President Mike Pence vowed to keep fighting to repeal the ACA. If the ACA is repealed, gaining black lung benefits could become much more difficult for miners, effectively harming a group of people President Trump promised to protect."