Retired coal miner John Leach received a frustrating letter this week, informing him that his family’s heath benefits would soon be terminated should the U.S. Congress fail to act by the end of April.
“I’ve been a United Mine Worker member for over 30 years,” he told CNN’s Van Jones on “The Messy Truth” late Thursday. Jones was also joined by Wall Street Journal writer and former Donald Trump adviser Stephen Moore.
“We worked in the coal mines producing the fuel that made America the most powerful nation on earth,” Leach continued. “The company I worked for went bankrupt, and now I will lose my heath benefits.”
Leach and his wife’s three children all suffer from a rare and fatal genetic disease known as Friedreich’s Ataxia. The Beaver Dam, Kentucky family worries that without John’s benefits, their financial safety net will collapse.
“The federal government has guaranteed for 70 years coal miners like myself get our benefits, but now for the first time, the government may not live up to that moral commitment,” Leach noted.
“Do you, sir, think that the U.S. government should honor the promises that were made to miners like myself?” he asked Moore.
The Trump adviser appeared flummoxed.
“I don’t know all the facts of—” Moore stammered, before deflecting.
“I would ask you this question, sir. What happened to the money? Because you paid into the system, right? And I wonder what happened to the retirement heath care dollars that were supposed to be there for you when you retired,” he answered. “I don’t know the answer to that.”
“I’ll tell you what happened,” said Van Jones, cutting in. “What happened is, when fracking hit, it made coal more expensive and they were running into bankruptcy courts to discharge those obligations.”
Key winners at the 2020 Grammy Awards
Here is a list of winners in key categories at the 62nd annual Grammy Awards, which took place Sunday in Los Angeles.
Teenage goth-pop iconoclast Billie Eilish was the big winner with a total of five golden statuettes, including a clean sweep of the "big four" prizes.
Lizzo, the top nomination getter, won three prizes -- best pop solo performance, best urban contemporary album and best traditional R&B performance.
Album of the Year: Billie Eilish, "When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?"
How the world discovered the Nazi death camps
Images of what the Allies found when they liberated the first Nazi death camps towards the end of World War II brought the horror of the Holocaust to global attention.
Many of the ghastly pictures were at first held back from the broader public, partly out of concern for those with missing relatives.
The concentration and extermination camps were liberated one by one as the Allied armies advanced on Berlin in the final days of the 1939-1945 war.
The first was Majdanek in eastern Poland, which was freed on July 24, 1944 by the advancing Soviet Red Army.
John McEnroe blasts ‘homophobic’ Margaret Court ahead of Grand Slam honor
John McEnroe blasted fellow tennis great Margaret Court's "offensive and homophobic" views on Monday as the Australian Open prepared to mark 50 years since her calendar-year Grand Slam.
The American said Court, 77, was Tennis Australia's "crazy aunt" and that marking the golden anniversary of her 1970 Grand Slam was a "nightmare" for the governing body.
"There's only one thing longer than the list of Margaret Court's list of achievements: it's her list of offensive and homophobic statements," McEnroe said in a no-holds-barred video for Eurosport.
"Margaret Court is actually a ventriloquist, using the Bible as a dummy to say whatever she wants," added the seven-time Grand Slam winner.