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Retired Coal Miners Are Worried About Their Future

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Seventy-three year old, Dave Smith is just one of the many retired coal miners who could potentially lose their health insurance. “I have myself, personally, I have three specialists I have to go to and you think I can afford that and if I couldn’t go to those I would be dead.” said, Smith. Smith, as well as several other retired miners were promised health benefits for the rest of their lives. But sadly, this could be taken away from them in just a matter of days. 

Retired coal miner, Nelson Bailes, told us, “Well I don’t have the money to pay this stuff, I pay enough anyway the extra and stuff but the money is not there and something you work for all your life, you’d like to keep.” Many of these miners have worked hard their entire lives, and if they don’t pass the miners protection act they could simply lose all Health benefits that they already can’t afford. Another retired coal miner who will be affected by this, Mike Dempsey said, “We got two people that could get this on the floor and get it passed, their senators from Kentucky, Mitch McConnell and Rand Paul. It is wrong for two people to have so much power to hurt so many and their families. I’m putting the pledge out for you to call your Senators and House of Representatives tell them to pass this law to save the health and the pensions of these retired coal miners.”

Several of the retired coal miners say they are going to continue to fight for what they were originally promised, in hopes that they will be able to keep their health benefits.

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Ashley Cafaro

Ashley Cafaro has come to southern West Virginia all the way from New York to pursue her career in the mountain state as a journalist. Ashley anchored and reported for her college television station, and is thrilled to be taking her next step in her career as a multimedia journalist at WOAY. Read More