In a recent article from Ohio Valley Resource, journalist Sydney Boles explains a controversial change that Kentucky lawmakers made two years ago, making it more difficult for miners with black lung to access benefits.

“Two years ago, Kentucky lawmakers made a controversial change to the rules for black lung benefits. Now, state records show that since that change, the percent of Kentucky miners diagnosed by state-approved experts as having the disease fell from 54 percent before the law change to just 26 percent. An analysis of state data by the Ohio Valley ReSource also suggests that the doctors now making decisions on claims more often side with coal companies than with coal miners.

For Stanley that change means that the opinion of one pulmonologist will hold more weight than three other physicians, potentially costing him benefits he’ll need to live with his disease.”

Read the full article here.