ACLC client and Black Lung Association member Patty Amburgey explains that benefits will soon dry up if congress refuses to extend the Black Lung Excise Tax. Dr. Brandon Crum weighs in on the black lung epidemic on the rise in the region.

“I just feel that Mitch McConnell has let the citizens of Kentucky down, especially the miners,” said Patty Amburgey, whose husband, Crawford, died of black lung disease at age 62 in 2007. She draws a monthly widow’s payment through his black lung disability benefits. “And now there’s an epidemic of black lung.”

Dr. Brandon Crum has watched that epidemic unfold at his Pikeville, Kentucky, radiology clinic. In less than four years, Crum has seen 200 miners diagnosed with a severe form of black lung disease, called pulmonary massive fibrosis. The nation had 31 such diagnoses in the 1990s, according to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health.”

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