The Associated Press has a story today about the trip that ACLC clients, staff and partner organizations made this week to Washington, DC to demand an extension of the excise tax that funds benefits and medical treatment for miners suffering from black lung disease. ACLC Client Kenny Fleming was quoted in the story about how vital these benefits are to him and his family. AP’s Dylan Lovan writes:
Kenny Fleming recalls working in an eastern Kentucky mine owned by Massey Energy that had dust so thick you “couldn’t see your hand in front of your face.” Fleming, 59, had to retire early from coal mining when he got sick with black lung.
“The trust fund is a lifesaver,” Fleming said by phone Thursday from Washington. He traveled with a group of miners, family members and advocates to the capitol to meet with lawmakers and staffers. “It’s helped so many people in so many ways, but now it’s in jeopardy,” he said.
House Republicans inserted a one-year extension for the tax into a tax bill released this week. Fleming, who says he is hoping to live long enough to see his first grandchild born, called the one-year fix a “band-aid.”
“It’s a short-term solution to a long-term problem,” he said.