May 10, 2009

California Work Comp Rate Hike Unfair to Employers

Last month, the California Workers' Comp Insurance Rating Bureau recommended a 23.7% increase in work comp premiums. The proposed rate hike is unfair to California employers. Work comp costs are rising due to an increase in medical costs, not because of a jump in the number of work place injuries. Why should employers be forced to absorb costs caused by others?

The problem is not really the work comp system in California, but the way medical care is managed in this country.

A lot of needless time and money is spent by insurance companies in disputing medical treatment. But insurance companies need a way to protect themselves from medical mills that prescribe the same unnecessary treatment, surgery, and pain management regimes to every patient.

The best way to cure the work comp system is to eradicate it. Why distinguish between a work injury and any other injury? If health care were available to each Californian, work comp would be unnecessary. California should just make every employer contribute a percentage of general health care premiums to an insurance fund. It is outrageous to make employers pay for both employee health insurance and workers' comp insurance!

The purpose of work comp is to provide speedy relief to the injured worker, while protecting the employer from tort suit by the worker or his family. This bargain between the worker and the employer was struck almost 100 years ago. Times have changed. We Californians rely on our employers for our livelihood. We want them to be properous so they can hire more of us and pay us more money.

Instead of raising rates on employers for costs outside of their control, we should eradiate the entire workers' comp system.

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