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USA-COAL/BLACKLUNG
RTX674G1
June 01, 2018
As a young man, Barry Shrewsbury dug coal in the West Virginia mines and spent his time off hunting and...
St. Charles, UNITED STATES
The Wider Image: Coal lobby fights black-lung tax as disease rates surge
As a young man, Barry Shrewsbury dug coal in the West Virginia mines and spent his time off hunting and fishing in the rolling hills. Now, at 62, he struggles to breath and accomplish basic tasks such as shopping and showering, and relies on a federal fund for ex-miners with black lung disease to pay for an oxygen tank and doctor visits. "The benefits are a lifeline," Shrewsbury said between labored breaths after a treatment at the Bluestone Health Center in Princeton, West Virginia, an industrial-style building set against the leafy landscape. That lifeline is threatened. The Black Lung Disability Trust Fund risks insolvency due to soaring debt and a slashing of coal-company contributions through a tax cut scheduled for the end of the year, according to a report the U.S. Government Accountability Office plans to publish soon, two sources briefed on it told Reuters. REUTERS/Brian Snyder SEARCH "BLACK LUNG" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES. TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY. Matching text: USA-COAL/BLACKLUNG
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