KY Lawmakers Block Coal Miners From Receiving Black Lung Diagnosis

JM Ashby
Written by JM Ashby

Cases of black lung have exploded over the past year as Trump moves to deregulate the industry, but lawmakers in Kentucky have just made it harder for coal miners to actually receive a proper diagnosis so they can claim compensation.

In what I'm sure is no accident, state lawmakers have changed the law so that miners must receive a diagnosis from industry doctors.

The new law requires that only pulmonologists — doctors who specialize in the lungs and respiratory system — assess diagnostic black lung X-rays when state black lung claims are filed.

Up until now, radiologists, who work in evaluating all types of X-rays and other diagnostic images, had been allowed to diagnose the disease as well.

Just six pulmonologists in Kentucky have the federal certification to read black lung X-rays and four of them routinely are hired by coal companies or their insurers, according to an NPR review of federal black lung cases.

The law's sponsor, Rep. Adam Koenig from Erlanger, Kentucky, says they're "just making sure that qualified doctors are making these determinations" which is the biggest gob of horseshit I've ever heard. No one believes that.

Stop voting for people who want you dead. Trump isn't going to save you. Republicans aren't going to save you. They're going to kill you.

  • Christopher Foxx

    Stop voting for people who want you dead. Trump isn’t going to save you. Republicans aren’t going to save you. They’re going to kill you.

    I’m honestly at the point where I’m starting to see that as not a truly bad thing.

  • Draxiar

    I keep coming back to Hillary’s statement that was taken out of context about “putting coal miners out of work” when she was saying that she wanted to help them transition to new jobs because the energy industry was shifting away from coal. She wanted to help them because they were going to lose their jobs. Instead under trump they’ll lose their lives. Forgotten men and women…right?

  • muselet

    Soulless bastards.


  • I know here in AZ, X-ray, MRI and Ultrasound technicians are not allowed to interpret their own scans–at least for the patient. They may certainly tell a doctor but the doctor is the only one who will give the patient a diagnosis. Of course, we have doctors here. The same can’t be said in KY, obviously so it makes sense to let x-ray techs do it.

    I’ve also been reading that the number of black lung cases have exploded like 200% and they weren’t sure why. New studies suggest it’s the type of coal being mined and the machines they are using to do it. Of course the politicians and the coal companies don’t care and won’t change anything to stop this resurgence. And by limiting the availability of who can diagnose, they are going to ensure that some people don’t get the care they need–so they’ll be increasing the death rate. The GOP should just get rid of the Elephant and use the Grim Reaper as their party symbol instead.

    • swift_4

      Yeah. I had an MRI to check for a kidney stone. I asked what she saw, but she said she couldn’t say. I said the doctor said it could be a few things and she said, “It might be a kidney stone.” Then I said that I was hoping for something less and she said, slowly, “It might be a kidney stone.”

      I said, “Maybe it’s just a small one…?” and she just walked away.

      • About a year ago I had a mammogram and neither the mammogram tech or the ultrasound tech (which followed several days later) would give me anything beyond “there are multiple growths”. So I had to wait for a a week for a doctor to look at the films and decide. It was my first but probably not my last breast cancer scare. So I spent a week seriously worrying all because they don’t allow techs to “diagnose” their own scans.

  • Georgie

    Hopefully the unions get involved.

    • Wildson

      Many union folks voted Republican this time around…

      • Badgerite

        Still, the Miner’s Union should be all over this. That’s why they exist. No matter who their members voted for.

  • Wildson

    From Politico article:

    “People have a tendency to blame politicians when things don’t work, but as I always tell people, you get the politicians you deserve,” Obama said, to loud applause. “And if you don’t vote and you don’t pay attention, you’ll get policies that don’t reflect your interest.”

    Maybe these “Real Americans” should stop worrying about the Blacks, Browns, “Tha Gays” and the Feminazi’s and focus of the MFs who are screwing them over “with no vaseline” (Ice Cube…)

    • Amen, amen!

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    • Ceoltoir

      But everyone that they choose to listen to on the radio, television and even behind the pulpit at church tells them that Blacks, Browns, Gay and Feminazis are responsible for EVERYTHING wrong with their lives. At some point you have to understand that these are self inflicted wounds.

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