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.