There are a myriad reasons why we should have single payer health insurance in the United States. And here is another one. For one reason or another, the federal government is providing health coverage for retired and injured coalminers. And that coverage keeps getting tossed around in every budget and budget continuation resolution. There is no reason that this continues to be a hot potato. And it wouldn’t be if we had national single payer health coverage for everyone…let’s just get down to business and cover every American!
Coal-state lawmakers say Congress is close to a deal to extend health benefits for more than 22,000 retired miners and widows whose medical coverage is set to expire Sunday.
Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia said Wednesday that a “permanent” fix will be included in a Senate measure to keep the government open. The fix would cost $1.3 billion over 10 years.
West Virginia Republican Sen. Shelley Moore Capito also was confident the Senate would approve the plan and noted that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky supports it.
House Republican leaders have been pushing a 20-month health care extension, but Capito and Manchin said they were optimistic House Speaker Paul Ryan would agree to a long-term fix.
The plan does not address pension benefits for unionized miners.