WASHINGTON (WYMT) - U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) introduced legislation Tuesday to provide a permanent extension of health care benefits for retired coal miners and their families. The current extension is set to expire at the end of April 2017.
The Helping Ensure Long-term Protection (HELP) for Coal Miner Health Care Act also calls for the legislative and executive branches to work to repeal regulations McConnell says contributed to the downfall of the coal industry. The bill also calls on the Government Accountability Office to periodically audit the plan to "ensure taxpayer dollars are being spent wisely."
“Last year, I was proud to be able to secure an extension of these benefits past their year-end expiration date. While I advocated for a longer-term solution, we did secure a four-month plan. I made a commitment at that time to work with my colleagues on a long-term health care solution for these retired miners,” Senator McConnell said. “Today, I introduced legislation to protect and permanently extend those benefits for thousands of coal miner retirees and dependents.”