Pick Your Community: | Hopkins | Muhlenberg | Daviess | Christian | Henderson | Lakes | McCracken | Webster

Whitfield Introduces Bill to Protect Coal Miners’ Health Care Benefits

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

© Copyright 2014 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 by using one of the social media links below.

3/13 - 16
3/13 - 16
button coupons
3/13 - 16
3/13 - 16
button classifieds

In Other News...

Fee Free Day at Land Between The Lakes

GOLDEN POND, Ky. (12/19/14) — Land Between The Lakes National Recreation Area will waive fees at the Elk & Bison… Read More

Eagle Viewing River Cruises at Land Between The Lakes

GOLDEN POND, KY. (12/18/14) — Land Between The Lakes partners with Kenlake State Resort Park over Martin Luther King… Read More
3/13 - 16

Most Read This Week

December 16, 2014 9449

Coal Miner Fatally Injured in Underground Mining…

in Top News For All Sites by Dick Brown
December 14, 2014 8473

Muhlenberg Pays Homage to U.S. Armed Forces

in Local (Muhlenberg) Top News by Charles W. Riley II, SurfKY News
December 17, 2014 6338

Elderly Couple Found Shot to Death in Muhlenberg

in Local (Muhlenberg) Top News by Trooper Stu Recke
December 17, 2014 6212

Three Men Charged with Burglary

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Madisonville Police Department
December 15, 2014 4799

Hopkins County Woman Charged Second Time in Two…

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Charles W. Riley II, SurfKY News
December 15, 2014 4288

Woman Leads Police on High-Speed Chase in Stolen…

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Madisonville Police
December 15, 2014 3286

Vehicle Careens down 150 Foot Embankment with…

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Madisonville Police Department
December 16, 2014 2914

Highway Crews Pre-Treating Roadways for Potential…

in Hopkins News by Keith Todd
December 16, 2014 2900

Madisonville Police Arrest Reports - Dec. 16, 2014

in Hopkins News by Madisonville Police Department
December 12, 2014 2810

Governor Beshear Announces Contract for Another…

in Top News For All Sites by Office of the Governor

Stories Trending Today

December 18, 2014 2457

Cat Scratching over Dog Ownership Escalates

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Amber Averitt, SurfKY News
December 18, 2014 1088

Hopkins County Sheriff's Reports Released

in Hopkins News by Sheila Hopper
December 18, 2014 1051

Madisonville Insurance Executive Elected Vice…

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Kristy Quinn
December 18, 2014 1043

UK Track and Field Announces Initial Eight…

in General Sports For All Sites by UK Athletics
December 18, 2014 1028

DeArmond Looks Back as Retirement Nears

in Local (Muhlenberg) Top News by Paul McRee, SurfKY News
December 18, 2014 974

Traffic Shift for New I-69/Pennyrile Pkwy…

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Keith Todd
December 18, 2014 930

Madisonville Police Arrest Reports - Dec. 18, 2014

in Hopkins News by Madisonville Police Department
December 18, 2014 709

Kentucky's Jobless Rate Drops to 6 Percent in…

in General News For All Sites by Kim Brannock
December 18, 2014 707

City of Earlington Holiday Schedule

in Hopkins News by Julia A. Sellers
December 18, 2014 627

Paducah Police Still Searching for Suspect

in Local (Paducah) Top News by Robin Newberry

SurfKY News Group, Inc.
Corporate Office & Studio
1125 Nebo Rd.  •  Madisonville, KY 42431
270.452.2727 (phone)
  •  270.452.2249 (fax)


Contact a member of our staff: www.surfky.com/contact
Copyright © 2014 SurfKY News Group, Inc.  •  Terms of Use  •  Site Map

social fbsocial twsocial yt
social gpsocial flrsocial rss