02.23.17

Editorial: Ensure Retirees Not Left in Cold

The handwritten note from President Donald Trump had to have been a delight for U.S. Sen. Shelley Moore Capito’s eyes. It was written atop a letter she had sent the president, outlining a plan to preserve health care and pension benefits for retired miners and their families.

“Great — I am all for the miners,” Trump wrote back. He underlined “Great.”

Because so many coal companies have gone out of business and others have shipped less coal during recent years, programs that for many years funded pension and health care benefits for retirees are in deep trouble. Several weeks ago, Congress approved a temporary rescue program.

But something more permanent is needed. It could come in approval of the Miners Protection Act introduced in the Senate by Capito and several other coal-state lawmakers.

Unless the measure is enacted, tens of thousands of retired miners and their families could find themselves without pension checks and health care insurance.

Because the industry’s financial problems stem to a great extent from federal government action, Washington owes the retirees some help.

Clearly, Trump plans to keep his promises to miners. Members of Congress should make it a priority to do what amounts to the right thing and help the retirees.


Source: The Intelligencer / Wheeling News-Register