Grimes: McConnell opposes black lung benefits

Grimes: McConnell opposes black lung benefits

Credit: Getty Images

MIAMI, FL - DECEMBER 22: A computer screen reads, "Enroll by Dec. 23 for coverage starting as soon as Jan 1." as agents from Sunshine Life and Health Advisors help people purchase health insurance under the Affordable Care Act at the kiosk setup at the Mall of Americas on December 22, 2013 in Miami, Florida. Tomorrow is the deadline for people to sign up if they want their new health benefits to kick in on the 1st of January. People have until March 31, to sign up for coverage that would start later. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

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by ASSOCIATED PRESS

khou.com

Posted on July 3, 2014 at 12:28 PM

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) - U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell has vowed to repeal all of the federal Affordable Care Act - even though it includes several provisions that help coal miners receive benefits for black lung disease.

Alison Lundergan Grimes, McConnell's Democratic challenger, criticized McConnell for opposing those benefits during a campaign swing through the eastern Kentucky coalfields on Thursday. Grimes has said she would work to fix some problems with the health care bill but would not repeal it.

Black lung is the common name for a disease caused by inhaling coal dust. State officials say more Kentucky miners are filing claims because more of them are out of work. Eastern Kentucky has lost 7,000 direct coal mining jobs since 2012.

A McConnell spokeswoman did not immediately respond to request for comment.

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