HHS To Provide $200M to Prescription Drug Coverage Program for Coal Miners
HHS has agreed to increase Medicare reimbursements to the United Mine Workers Association Health and Retirement Funds program by $100 million in each of the next two years, Sens. Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.) and Robert Byrd (D-W.Va.) said last week, the AP/Fort Wayne Journal Gazette reports. The program, established under the 1992 Coal Act, provides prescription drug coverage to 55,000 retired coal miners and their widows.
Rockefeller said, "This is an enormous victory for our coal miners in West Virginia and across the country." Byrd added, "Until a long-term solution is reached, this temporary fix will help to preserve vital health care benefits for thousands of West Virginians who need them most."
UMWA President Cecil Roberts said that the announcement will affect 18,000 West Virginia coal miners and their families (AP/Fort Wayne Journal Gazette, 9/15).