1978 Scorecard Vote
H.R. 4544. The vote is on the adoption of the conference report on the bill to liberalize the black lung benefits program. Black lung is an occupational disease that comes from breathing coal dust in the deep mines. The bill set up more lenient rules for determining who was eligible for benefits and extended the benefits to most survivors of miners who had worked in the mines 25 years or more. Continued employment was no longer proof that a miner wasn't totally disabled, nor did he have to get repeated government X-Rays. An X-Ray from a certified radiologist was sufficient. Previously denied claims would be reviewed in light of the new law. Environmentalists support programs to fight black lung because we cannot in good conscience continue to promote deep mining as an alternative to strip mining unless we work to improve conditions in the deep mines. Adopted 264-113. February 15, 1978. YES is the correct vote.