West Virginia lawmakers say the new congressional spending plan contains a permanent extension of health care benefits for more than 22,000 retired miners and widows whose medical coverage is set to expire this month.
Republican Representative Evan Jenkins and Democratic Senator Joe Manchin say it’s in the $1 trillion-plus spending bill to fund most federal operations through September.
In West Virginia, about 8,500 retired miners and their families face loss of benefits if Congress does not act.
Pension benefits have not been included. The miners’ pension and benefit funds have been depleted by coal company bankruptcies.