U.S. News and World Report / Reuters – The U.S. government and coal companies will be required to pay out healthcare to retired coal miners, guaranteeing benefits to workers even as coal companies face bankruptcy, after Congress on Sunday reached a fiscal spending agreement for 2017.
The provision to secure the United Mine Workers' healthcare benefits was included in a deal that lawmakers reached late on Sunday for around $1 trillion in federal funding that would avert a government shutdown later this week.
Around 22,600 coal miners and their families were on the brink of losing on April 30 their healthcare benefits, which were at risk of default as the industry struggled, with companies trying to recover from bankruptcies.
“This permanent solution to protect these benefits is a victory for our miners, their families, and their widows," said Congressman Evan Jenkins, a West Virginia Republican who represents the state's coal-producing counties.
Read more at U.S. News and World Report.