Black lung testing added to final bill

Published 8:06 am Monday, September 24, 2018

Brown hopes funding will help with early detection

WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, secured an amendment to the final Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies (L-HHS) Appropriations Bill on Tuesday to boost participation in federal programs that detect and treat black lung disease among coal miners.

The current participation rate in the federal screening program is about 35 percent among active miners and even lower among non-active miners.

Brown’s office said increasing participation in the program could help save lives by early identification of black lung and give us a better understanding on how to treat black lung.

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The final appropriations package has been agreed to by the House and the Senate. Now that the bill has passed the Senate, it now heads to the House for final passage before heading to the  President’s desk to be signed into law.

Brown introduced the amendment to the bill alongside Sens. Mark R. Warner, D-Virginia, Shelley Moore Capito, R-West Virginia, Tim Kaine, D-Virginia, Joe Manchin, D-West Virginia, and Bob Casey, D-Pennsylvania, all from states with significant mining industries “Ohio miners put their health at risk to power our country,” Brown said in a statement. “Finding ways to increase outreach and miner participation in the screenings that help prevent and manage conditions like black lung is the least we can do.”