Washington, D.C. -Following efforts by U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA), Congress’ government funding bill includes language that will secure permanent health care benefits for almost 2,000 retired coal miners in Pennsylvania and over 20,000 across the nation who were in danger of losing their coverage. For months, Casey has called for action on a health care and pensions fix. In November, he wrote to President Trump urging him to take action to help miners. Casey has also called Congressional Republicans and Congressional leadership on multiple occasions to take action on the Miners Protection Act.
“While securing permanent health benefits for our coal miners is a strong step in the right direction, I won’t stop fighting until we’ve secured a pension fix as well,” said Senator Casey. “Thousands of Pennsylvanian miners and their families are counting on us to keep our promise. We have a proposal to secure the pensions of nearly 13,000 Pennsylvania coal miners that is ready to go – I hope congressional Republicans get serious about this critical economic issue for Pennsylvania’s rural counties.”
Senator Casey is an original cosponsor the Miners Protection Act, introduced by him and Senator Manchin. In 2016, Senator Casey, as a member of the Finance Committee, helped secure a seat for UMWA President Cecil Roberts to testify before the committee on the Miners Protection Act and later that year, a successful markup of the bipartisan legislation. The Miners Protection Act was reported out of the Finance Committee by a bipartisan vote of 18-8. Senator Casey opposed the 2016 end of year Continuing Resolution on account of the lack of action on Miners healthcare. The bill extended healthcare for so short a time that recipients were informed nearly simultaneously that their benefits would be reinstated and terminated. Since the start of the Trump Administration, Senator Casey has sent several letter letters calling for an end to the miners’ healthcare and pension limbo.