Davis Motor Sales banner ad

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 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 by using one of the social media links below.

In Other News...

Happenings and Meetings - Hopkins County

HOPKINS COUNTY, Ky. (1/31/15) — The following meetings and events are scheduled for the following week: Poppy and… Read More

White Plains Man Arrested after Being Wanted for Two Years

MANNINGTON, Ky. (2/1/15) ― A White Plains man was arrested Saturday, Jan. 31 after being wanted on active warrants for… Read More

Most Read This Week

January 28, 2015 18266

UPDATED: Several Involved in Two-Vehicle Accident

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Doreen Dennis, SurfKY News
January 26, 2015 9562

KSP Arrests Two on Child Porn Charges; MPD…

in Top News For All Sites Touching Hopkins by Trooper Stu Recke
January 28, 2015 7421

Nortonville Man Accused of Meth Possession,…

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Madisonville Police Department/Hopkins County Detention Center
January 26, 2015 7202

School Board Votes 3-2 for Utility Tax

in Local (Muhlenberg) Top News by Charles W. Riley II, SurfKY News
January 25, 2015 6917

Juvenile Hit by Vehicle at McDonald's

in Local (Muhlenberg) Top News by GPD Officer Wes Miller
January 31, 2015 6837

24-Year-Old Killed in One-Vehicle Collision

in Top News For All Sites Touching Hopkins by Rita Dukes Smith, SurfKY News Director
January 28, 2015 6771

Tax Recall Committee Formed Day After School…

in Local (Muhlenberg) Top News by Charles W. Riley II, SurfKY News
January 30, 2015 6487

More Than 800 Gather to Encircle HCCHS

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Tammy Holloway, SurfKY News

Most Read This Month

January 08, 2015 23951

Woman Claiming to be 'Lady Gaga' Tours Town in…

in Top News For All Sites by Madisonville Police Department
January 15, 2015 23511

UPDATE: Fatality Victim's Name Officially Released

in Top News For All Sites by Doreen Dennis, SurfKY News

Stories Trending Today

January 31, 2015 6837

24-Year-Old Killed in One-Vehicle Collision

in Top News For All Sites Touching Hopkins by Rita Dukes Smith, SurfKY News Director
January 30, 2015 6487

More Than 800 Gather to Encircle HCCHS

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Tammy Holloway, SurfKY News
January 31, 2015 2013

UPDATED GAME STORY: Muhlenberg Mustangs Trample…

in Local (Muhlenberg) Top News by Mike Groves
January 30, 2015 1974

Governor, First Lady, Commissioner Celebrate New…

in Top News For All Sites by Office of the Governor
January 31, 2015 1754

Eating Only during 9-12 Hour Period May Help…

in General News For All Sites by Melissa Landon
January 31, 2015 1595

Hooked on Science - 'Chemical Reaction Splash'

in General News For All Sites by Jason Lindsey
January 31, 2015 1514

Keeping the Faith - 'Will Practice Make Perfect?'

in General News For All Sites by Ronnie McBrayer
January 31, 2015 1474

Happenings and Meetings - Hopkins County

in Hopkins News by Amber Averitt, SurfKY News
January 31, 2015 1472

Woman Veterans Video Now on KDVA YouTube

in General News For All Sites by Lisa Aug
February 01, 2015 1358

White Plains Man Arrested after Being Wanted for…

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Robert LIttlepage
February 01, 2015 1324

Madisonville Man Charged on Multiple Drug…

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Chris Rogers
January 31, 2015 1310

Daviess County Traffic Advisory

in Owensboro News by Keith Todd