Obamacare Repeal Threatens A Health Benefit Popular In Coal Country

James Bounds is a West Virginia miner with black lung disease; it took him 4 1/2 years to get compensation benefits. A provision in Obamacare later made qualifying for those benefits much easier.

Kara Lofton/West Virginia Public Broadcasting


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Kara Lofton/West Virginia Public Broadcasting

James Bounds is a West Virginia miner with black lung disease; it took him 4 1/2 years to get compensation benefits. A provision in Obamacare later made qualifying for those benefits much easier.

Kara Lofton/West Virginia Public Broadcasting

At the Pulmonary Rehabilitation Clinic in Scarbro, W.Va., oxygen tubes dangle from the noses of three miners slowly pedaling on stationary bikes. All of these men have black lung — a disease caused by breathing in coal dust. Over time, the dust coats the lungs and causes them to harden. Hard lungs don’t easily expand and contract, and that makes it difficult to breathe.

“You try to get air in them, and they don’t want to cooperate with you as they did before,” says retired miner James Bounds, speaking with great effort. Not every coal

Article source: http://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2017/01/24/510668899/obamacare-repeal-threatens-a-health-benefit-popular-in-coal-country?utm_medium=RSS&utm_campaign=affordablecareact

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