Chairman Scott Introduces Bill to Protect Coal Miners’ Retiree Medical Benefits

February 5, 2019
Press Release

As originally released by the Committee on Education and Labor

WASHINGTON, DC – Last week, Chairman Bobby Scott (VA-03), Committee on Education and Labor, along with Chairwoman Frederica Wilson (FL-24), Subcommittee on Health, Employment, Labor and Pensions, introduced the Health Benefits for Miners Act of 2019This legislation would ensure coal miners, who are at risk due to recent coal company bankruptcies, will not lose their retiree health care.

“Two years ago, Congress took bipartisan action and upheld the federal government’s commitment to protecting retired miners’ health care. Due to recent coal company bankruptcies, miners are at risk again of losing their retiree health care. It is imperative for Congress to responsibly act once again and keep our promise to hard-working miners. That’s why I’m introducing the Health Benefits for Miners Act of 2019, and I will work advance this legislation,” said Chairman Bobby Scott (VA-03).

Because of additional coal companies declaring bankruptcy since Congress last acted in 2017, approximately 1,200 miners and their dependents are at risk of losing their retiree health care in the coming months.

“The U.S. government has consistently met its promise to retired miners and their dependents, most recently in 2017 when Congress preserved the health care of 22,600 retirees and widows. Rep. Scott’s bill will once again fulfill that promise to miners who earned their health care through decades of hard, dangerous work, and I thank him very much for his leadership on this,” Cecil E. Roberts, President, United Mine Workers of America (UMWA).

To read the bill text, please click here.