The 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has upheld the constitutionality of a provision of the national health care reform legislation that provides benefits to the survivors of coal miners who were afflicted with black lung disease.

Senior Circuit Judge Morton I. Greenberg, writing Oct. 26, rejected the argument that a coal mine company’s substantive due process rights are violated by a provision in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act that mandates that the survivors of miners who were receiving benefits because of black lung disease do not have to reapply to receive survivors’ benefits after the miners die. Greenberg was joined in the decision by Circuit Judge Thomas I. Vanaskie.

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