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KENTUCKY SENATE-COAL
Grimes criticizes McConnell for opposing black lung benefits in federal health care bill

Reported by: Associated Press
Reported: Thursday, July 3, 2014 12:05 PM EDT
FRANKFORT, Ky.


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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