U.S. SENATE —U.S. Senator Steve Daines today urged U.S. Senate and U.S. House of Representatives leadership to protect the residents of Libby by preserving provisions to treat those affected by asbestos.
In 2009, Libby was declared a Public Health Emergency after linking years of asbestos exposure to the now closed W.R. Grace & Co. mine.
Daines’ letter is available to download HERE and below.
Dear Speaker Ryan and Leader McConnell:
Thank you for your leadership in developing legislation to repeal the core elements of Obamacare and replace that disastrous law with reforms that reduce health costs, provide access to affordable coverage, put patients in charge of their health care, and return power to states. Without doubt, Obamacare has caused severe hardships on countless Montanans, and its Washington-centered tax and regulate formula has failed the American people.
As you prepare to introduce repeal and replace legislation, I wanted to bring your attention to provisions impacting workers and residents of Libby, Montana, that are unrelated to the heart of Obamacare but yet were included in that law. Hundreds of Libby residents have died, and two thousand more suffer illness today, as a result of exposure to decades of mining toxic asbestos dust that was utilized in construction materials. It remains an environmental and public health crisis. The related provisions provide access to Medicare for anyone exposed to the asbestos, grant victims access to home health care and other health services not covered by Medicare, and provide funding for screening. I ask that you retain these provisions.
Thank you for your prompt attention to this request, and I look forward to working with you both as Congress moves forward with legislation to repeal and replace Obamacare.