Miners to Advocate for Money for Black Lung Trust Fund

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SOUTH WILLIAMSON, Ky. (AP) – As black lung disease surges in Appalachia, some coal miners are going to Washington, D.C., to lobby for restoration of a tax that coal companies pay to a trust fund to help former workers with the illness.

The Lexington Herald-Leader reports about 120 miners will advocate in the nation’s capital later this month for the tax to be restored for the Black Lung Disability Trust Fund. The tax was cut in half in January.

Clinics use money from the fund to help treat former miners with black lung disease, an incurable mining-related illness.

A U.S. Government Accountability Office report says the trust fund owed about $4.3 billion to the U.S. Treasury last year.

Advocates for black lung patients worry the tax cut will further jeopardize the fund.