Davis Motor Sales banner ad

ed flagFRANKFORT, Ky. (6/4/13) – U.S. Rep. Ed Whitfield (KY-01), Chairman of the House Subcommittee on Energy and Power, has released a discussion draft of legislation that would ensure continued health care coverage for miners in danger of losing their benefits resulting from the bankruptcy of Patriot Coal Company. A discussion draft serves as an informal starting point for introducing a bill in the House of Representatives.
 
“It is critical that we protect the health care benefits of the thousands of Kentucky miners who have worked hard their entire careers to earn those benefits,” stated Whitfield. “That is why I am considering legislative options to ensure that the hardworking miners who took to the mines day in and day out don’t lose the health care that they have rightfully earned.”
 
The Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection that Patriot filed in July 2012 may impact the health care benefits of roughly 1,500 people and their families in Whitfield’s district. They claim that they will not be able to emerge from bankruptcy without significant changes to retiree health care obligations. As a result, a bankruptcy court recently ruled that Patriot Coal is authorized to transition retirees into a Voluntary Employee Beneficiary Association (VEBA).
 
Since it is expected that the United Mine Workers of America (UMWA) will appeal the court’s ruling, there is uncertainty regarding the solvency and availability of the VEBA. Whitfield’s legislation addresses this issue by making miners in danger of losing their health care benefits due to Patriot Coal’s bankruptcy eligible for UMWA’s 1993 Benefit Plan.
 
Whitfield acknowledges that there are challenges with retirees’ pensions, but the most immediate concern is the availability of heath care benefits, which is why he is taking this immediate step.
 
“Protecting the health care benefits is just the first step in what may very well amount to a multifaceted process,” concluded Whitfield.
 
SurfKY News
Information provided by Chris Pack

© Copyright 2015 SurfKY News Group, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, or rewritten without permission. SurfKY News encourages you to share this story on social media.

Posted on 2/2/14
3/13 - 16
1 DOW 18,132.70
-81.72 (-0.45%)    
2 S&P 2,104.50
-6.24 (-0.30%)    
3 NASDAQ 4,963.53
-24.36 (-0.49%)    
3/13 - 16

Most Read This Week

February 25, 2015 7166

Multi-Agency Investigation Nets Large-Scale Meth…

in Top News For All Sites by Trooper Stu Recke
February 24, 2015 7030

Two Charged in Central City Meth Bust

in Local (Muhlenberg) Top News by Trooper Stu Recke
February 22, 2015 6902

Easter Cuties Pageant in Memory of Shanice Bean

in Top News For All Sites Touching Hopkins by Tammy Holloway, SurfKY News
February 25, 2015 6071

New Asian Restaurant Coming to Madisonville

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Gary Gates, SurfKY News
February 23, 2015 4692

Fire Departments Respond to Wester's Body Shop

in Local (Muhlenberg) Top News by Shawn Freels
February 24, 2015 4403

School Board Holding Special Called Meeting

in Muhlenberg News by Sherri Miller

Most Read This Month

February 12, 2015

UPDATE: Name of Pennyrile Fatality Officially…

in Top News For All Sites Touching Hopkins by Doreen Dennis, SurfKY News
February 09, 2015

Police Pursue Man after Fight at Taco Bell

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Madisonville Police Department/Hopkins County Detention Center

Stories Trending Today

March 01, 2015 1472

HCCHS Student Has Unique Eye for Art

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Amber Averitt, SurfKY News
March 01, 2015 981

4H Penguin Plunge Draws Hundreds to Poolside

in Local (Muhlenberg) Top News by Paul McRee, SurfKY News
March 01, 2015 852

West Broadway Vendor Event, Tag Sale Planned

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Tammy Holloway, SurfKY News
March 01, 2015 789

Dave Says - March 1, 2015

in General News For All Sites by Dave Ramsey
March 01, 2015 723

Legislator's Log - Week of March 1, 2015

in General News For All Sites by Brent Yonts
March 01, 2015 687

Whitfield Meets with American Financial Services…

in General News For All Sites by Robert Hankins
March 01, 2015 647

Outdoor Truths - March 1, 2015

in General News For All Sites by Gary Miller
March 01, 2015 618

Libraries’ Drawing Contest Begins March 2

in Local (Muhlenberg) Top News by Amie Waltrip
March 01, 2015 609

Kentucky Offers Tax Credit to Small Business…

in General News For All Sites by Joe Hall
March 01, 2015 522

Endowment Partners with Cheri for Free Screenings…

in Lakes News by Kyser Lough