Manchin Announces More Than $1.2M Black Lung Clinic Funding Across West Virginia
Washington, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) announced that the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources and the West Virginia Primary Care Association will receive $626,520 each under the Black Lung Clinics Grant Program, administered by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) for a total award of $1,253,040.
Since February 2014, Senator Manchin has worked closely with Senator Rockefeller and Congressman Rahall to urge HRSA and the Department of Health and Humans Services (HHS) to ensure West Virginia receives sufficient funding so that miners suffering from black lung disease can get the treatment and medical services they need.
“This funding is less than West Virginia received last year, and I will do everything in my power to continue to fight for the full funding,” Senator Manchin said. “However, I am pleased that the Health Resources and Services Administration decided to not limit the state’s total black lung grant funding at the previous $900,000 cap. Every single miner who suffers from black lung disease should receive the best treatment and medical care, and this funding helps make that possible. Our coal miners have mined the coal that keeps our lights on, heats our homes and powers our businesses. The health and safety of our miners has always been one of the Mountain State’s top priorities, and I will continue to make sure our miners are always taken care of and supported.”
The West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources administers grant funding for eight black lung clinics – more than any other state – and is proposing to add a ninth clinic to the program.
Senator Manchin, along with Senator Rockefeller, introduced S. 805, the Robert C. Byrd Mine and Workplace Safety and Health Act, which required the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) to finalize regulations to lower the permissible breathable dust exposure levels and update testing procedures to find the maximum protection from breathable dust that can be achieved through environmental controls. The rule was finalized by MSHA on April 23, 2014.
Senator Manchin continues to fight to protect funding for West Virginia Black Lung Clinics. On April 3, 2014, he sent a letter to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to ensure grant programs receive the appropriate funds so patients suffering from black lung disease get the treatment and medical services they need. To read more information, please visit Senator Manchin’s website here.
In March 2014, Senator Manchin sent a letter, along with Senator Rockefeller and Congressman Rahall, to Labor Secretary Thomas Perez on a proposed Department of Labor rule that could limit the ability of miners suffering from Black Lung disease to access medical records needed to prove their eligibility for federal benefits. To read Senator Manchin’s letter, please click here.
Senator Manchin has also worked to decrease the backlog of black lung cases to ensure that miners receive the benefits they have earned.
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