COAL MINERS WORRY OBAMACARE REPEAL COULD MEAN LOSS OF BENEFITS
Neil Yonts, a Democrat and coal miner for 35 years initially supported Hillary Clinton, but ended up voting for Trump.
“May be a mistake,” says Yonts, “but, I heard him say he’d bring coal back.”
Yonts began reconsidering his votes after being diagnosed with black lung disease.
“When they eliminate the Obamacare they may just eliminate all the black lung program,” says Yonts. “It may all be gone. Don’t matter how many years you got.”
Three sentences in the Affordable Care Act made it easier for victims of Black Lung to get monthly federal benefits is they worked 15 years or more in the mines – and if they died the benefits automatically extended to their widows.
Patty Amburgey just received her first payment after her husband, Crawford, died in 2007 after 32 years in the mines.
“To see it, in somebody you lived with 45 years go from a vibrant man to a child is very hard,” says Amburgey.
She says getting the payment can also be difficult: even with the law, it took her 3 years to receive a payment.