clearn.png
Thursday October 1st, 2020 1:04AM

Report: black lung funding cut will cost taxpayers billions

By The Associated Press

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — A cut to the tax coal companies pay to fund a trust for sick miners will cost taxpayers at least $15 billion by 2050, according to a new report from a national watchdog group.

An excise tax rate on mined coal that funds the Black Lung Disability Trust Fund expired at the beginning of 2019 due to inaction by Congress. That led to a reduction in the amount coal companies pay into the fund, which pays benefits and medical bills for miners diagnosed with black lung disease.

“By failing to extend the excise tax, Congress is shifting billions of dollars in liabilities from coal companies to taxpayers,” said Autumn Hanna, vice president of Taxpayers for Common Sense. The Washington-based group released a report on Tuesday that said the fund's debt could be as high as $26 billion by 2050.

The U.S. Department of Labor earlier this year confirmed to The Associated Press that a funding shortfall in the Black Lung Trust Fund would be covered by borrowing from the U.S. Treasury.

A excise tax rate of $1.10 per ton of underground mined coal was cut by more than half to about 50 cents in the new year. The fund took in about $450 million in revenue in fiscal year 2017.

The mining industry supported the higher tax rate’s expiration.

Black lung disease, or pneumoconiosis, is caused by inhaling dust in the lungs and has no cure. It has killed about 78,000 miners since 1968.

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP Health, AP Business
© Copyright 2020 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Pelosi expected to announce North American trade pact
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is expected to announce her endorsement of a modified North American trade pact Tuesday morning
8:43AM ( 13 minutes ago )
World trade without rules? US shuts down WTO appeals court
Global commerce is losing its umpire
8:40AM ( 15 minutes ago )
French pension tension: Unions protest, police on guard
Thousands of people are marching through French cities as unions cranked up pressure against the government's retirement reforms. Paris has deployed thousands of police to prevent violence
8:37AM ( 18 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Johnson dodges UK's health woes, wants to talk about Brexit
Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson is trying to get his campaign back to the issue of Brexit after being accused of a lack of empathy for looking away from an image of child sleeping on a hospital room floor while awaiting treatment
7:18AM ( 1 hour ago )
Brain differences may be tied to obesity, kids' study says
New results from the largest long-term study of brain development and children’s health raise provocative questions about obesity and brain function
1:31PM ( 19 hours ago )
Supreme Court leaves Kentucky's ultrasound law in place
The Supreme Court has left in place a Kentucky law requiring doctors to perform ultrasounds and show fetal images to patients before abortions
12:00PM ( 20 hours ago )
AP Health
Japanese regulators recommend $22 million fine on Nissan
Japanese securities regulators are recommending that automaker Nissan be fined 2.4 billion yen ($22 million) for under-reporting compensation for its former chairman, Carlos Ghosn
7:26AM ( 1 hour ago )
The heart of Pensacola: City has strong ties with naval base
The deaths of three Navy sailors shot by a Royal Saudi Air Force officer has stunned the city of Pensacola, Florida
6:44AM ( 2 hours ago )
Bloomberg shows up as climate UN talks get into tough phase
American billionaire and Democratic presidential contender Michael Bloomberg says that the next U.S. president should halt fossil fuel subsidies altogether
6:07AM ( 2 hours ago )
AP Business
Pelosi expected to announce North American trade pact
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is expected to announce her endorsement of a modified North American trade pact Tuesday morning
8:43AM ( 13 minutes ago )
World trade without rules? US shuts down WTO appeals court
Global commerce is losing its umpire
8:40AM ( 15 minutes ago )
French pension tension: Unions protest, police on guard
Thousands of people are marching through French cities as unions cranked up pressure against the government's retirement reforms. Paris has deployed thousands of police to prevent violence
8:37AM ( 18 minutes ago )
A free pass for Trump? GOP presses edge in key battlegrounds
A full year before Election Day 2020, President Donald Trump and his party are already showering top general election swing states with time and resources
8:35AM ( 20 minutes ago )