Catholic University Law Review


Maureen Hughes


This Note summarizes the amendments made to the Black Lung Benefits Act (BLBA) following its passage in 1969 through the enactment of the 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA). The Note also addresses the split among the circuits over the meaning of the revised language in 30 U.S.C. § 932(l) (2012), and explains the reasoning of the Third, Fourth, Sixth, and Eleventh Circuits regarding the effect of the PPACA on BLBA benefit eligibility for miners’ dependent survivors. Further, this Note explains the significance of, and necessity in, resolving the confusion over § 932(l), and provides an analysis of § 932(l)’s inherent surplusage issue. Finally, this Note suggests that the current circuit split over the construction of § 932(l) can be easily reconciled by using a synthesized approach when deciding future § 932(l) issues.