CCMGraphicFRANKFORT, Ky. (7/8/13) – U.S. Rep. Ed Whitfield (KY-01), Chairman of the House Subcommittee on Energy and Power, today introduced the Caring for Coal Miners Act.  The legislation, co-sponsored by Rep. David McKinley (R – WV) and Rep. Shelley Moore Capito (R – WV), ensures continued health care coverage for miners in danger of losing their benefits resulting from the bankruptcy of Patriot Coal Company.  

“It is critical that we protect the health care benefits of the thousands of Kentucky miners who have worked hard their entire careers to earn those benefits,” stated Whitfield.  “That is why I have introduced the Caring for Coal Miners Act to ensure that the hardworking miners who took to the mines day in and day out don’t lose the health care that they have rightfully earned.”

“I have met with retirees from West Virginia, and I hear their concerns,” said Congresswoman Capito.  “It is important that as we continue to address the complicated issues that resulted from the bankruptcy of Patriot Coal Company that we find the best solutions moving forward.   The Caring for Coal Miners Act ensures continued health care coverage for the retirees who are in danger of losing their benefits.  It is also an important step forward in protecting the benefits that were promised to hardworking miners in states like West Virginia and Kentucky.”  

According to Whitfield, the Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection that Patriot filed in July 2012 may impact the health care benefits of roughly 1,500 people and their families in Whitfield’s district.  They claim that they will not be able to emerge from bankruptcy without significant changes to retiree health care obligations.  As a result, a bankruptcy court recently ruled that Patriot Coal is authorized to transition retirees into a Voluntary Employee Beneficiary Association (VEBA).

There is uncertainty regarding the solvency and availability of the VEBA due to the United Mine Workers of America (UMWA) recent appeal of the court’s ruling. Whitfield’s legislation addresses this issue by making miners in danger of losing their health care benefits due to Patriot Coal’s bankruptcy eligible for UMWA’s 1993 Benefit Plan.    

In early June, Whitfield introduced a discussion draft to begin the process of formally introducing the Caring for Coal Miners Act.  Whitfield acknowledges that there are challenges with retirees’ pensions, but the most immediate concern is the availability of health care benefits, which is why he is taking this immediate step.

“Protecting the health care benefits is just the first step in what may very well amount to a multifaceted process,” concluded Whitfield.
    
SurfKY News
Information provided by Chris Pack

e-max.it: your social media marketing partner

LIKE SurfKY on Facebook - Click here to LIKE us now.

© Copyright 2015 SurfKY News Group, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, or rewritten without permission. SurfKY News encourages you to share this story on social media.

Weather Sponsored by

1 DOW 16,374.76
+23.38 (0.14%)    
2 S&P 1,951.13
+2.27 (0.12%)    
3 NASDAQ 4,733.50
-16.48 (-0.35%)    

Stock Report Sponsored by

In Other News...

KSP Works Injury Collision in Trigg County

CADIZ, Ky. (9/2/15) — According to a Kentucky State Police report, KSP responded to a two vehicle collision on Sept. 2,… Read More

CASA Program of Hopkins County Seeking Volunteers

HOPKINS COUNTY, Ky. (9/3/15) — The CASA Program of Hopkins County is in desperate need of Court Appointed Special… Read More

Most Read This Week

August 31, 2015 6786

Man Convicted of Hopkins Countian's Death Granted…

by Doreen Dennis, SurfKY News
September 02, 2015 5967

Madisonville Gaining Two New Businesses

by Ron Sanders
August 30, 2015 3985

UPDATED: 'He Fought the Law ... but, the Law Won'

by Doreen Dennis, SurfKY News
September 02, 2015 3124

Investigation Leads to Meth Trafficking Charge

by SurfKY News
August 29, 2015 2620

Kentucky State Park Camping Deal Offered in…

by SurfKY News

Most Read This Month

August 06, 2015 19460

Muhlenberg Woman Reportedly Suffers Violent…

by SurfKY News
August 24, 2015 12178

Teen Reports Slasher Attempted to Attack Him on…

by Doreen Dennis, SurfKY News

Stories Trending Now

September 02, 2015 5967

Madisonville Gaining Two New Businesses

by Ron Sanders
September 02, 2015 3124

Investigation Leads to Meth Trafficking Charge

by SurfKY News
September 02, 2015 2516

UPDATE: Missing Teen Located

by SurfKY News
September 02, 2015 2334

Woman Allegedly Passed Out at Wheel Charged with…

by SurfKY News
September 02, 2015 1902

Crime Stoppers Top Most Wanted - September 2, 2015

by SurfKY News
September 02, 2015 1217

Madisonville Police Arrest Reports Released -…

by SurfKY News
September 02, 2015 1161

Gov. Beshear's Statement on County Clerks,…

by SurfKY News
September 02, 2015 1109

Hopkins County Sheriff's Reports Released

by SurfKY News
September 02, 2015 1033

Blood Drive Boosts Blood Bank Deposits

by Tammy Holloway, SurfKY News
September 02, 2015 1026

GPD Conducting Safety Checkpoints

by SurfKY News