Tennessee Legislature Appears More Concerned about Insurance Companies than TN Workers

A glimpse into the true feeling of the anit-worker Tennessee legislature came to light this week. While speaking to what was believe to be lobbyist or constitutes a representative was heard saying that he was going to “ram” the new Tennessee Workers Compensation Bill through his committee. You can read more about the statement and watch the video here. This is a sad day when a representative is more concerned about getting a new workers compensation bill pushed through instead of really considering the impact of the bill. So lets look at what this bill is going to do that the legislature is not willing to consider:

EXPAND THE SIZE OF TENNESSEE GOVERNMENT AND TAXPAYER SPENDING ON WC CLAIMS.

THE BILL
CREATES A BRAND NEW WC AGENCY

CREATES A NEW WC CZAR TO OVERSEE ALL WC CLAIMS
CREATES A NEW WC COURT WITH NEW WC JUDGES
PREVENTS OUR CURRENT JUDGES AND COURT SYSTEM FROM MAKING WC DECISIONS
THE WC CZAR GETS TO CHOOSE ALL WC JUDGES AND REVIEW ALL WC DECISIONS

THE CREATION OF THE NEW AGENCY AND WC COURT
SHIFTS COST OF HANDLING WC CLAIMS TO TAXPAYERS
SUCH COSTS HAVE ALWAYS BEEN PAID BY INSURERS

CUTS BENEFITS TO ALL INJURED WORKERS

THE PROPOSED WC BILL:

CUTS PAYMENTS TO INJURED WORKERS WHO CAN RETURN TO WORK BY ONE-THIRD. THESE CUTS, ALONG WITH CUTS IN 2008, MEAN AN INJURED WORKER WHO GOES BACK TO WORK COLLECTS 60% LESS THAN IN 2007.

DRASTICALLY CUTS PAYMENTS TO WORKERS WHO ARE SO INJURED THEY CANNOT GO BACK TO WORK. CHANGES IN 2004 AND 2008 ALREADY CUT THESE BENEFITS BY 25%-40%.

BUSINESSES AND INSURANCE COMPANIES HAVE SAVED COUNTLESS MILLIONS WHILE INJURED WORKERS CONTINUE TO HAVE ALL BENEFITS REDUCED
WHY? BECAUSE THEY TOLD THE GOVERNOR THEY WANT TO PAY LESS?

ENCOURAGE EMPLOYERS NOT TO OFFER INJURED WORKERS THEIR JOBS BACK
UNDER CURRENT WC LAW, WORKERS WHO ARE INJURED AND GET BETTER RECEIVE ADDITIONAL BENEFITS IF THE EMPLOYER DOES NOT OFFER THEM THEIR JOB BACK
THE BILL WOULD MAKE IT CHEAPER FOR EMPLOYERS TO SIMPLY TELL INJURED WORKERS THEY CANNOT RETURN TO THEIR JOBS
THIS WILL INCREASE NOT DECREASE THE JOBLESS RATE AS EMPLOYERS DECIDE ANY INJURED EMPLOYEE IS A LIABILITY – NO MATTER HIS OR HER EMPLOYMENT RECORD
THIS WILL ALSO SHIFT WORKERS This will also shift workers out of the WC system and into

DECREASES WORKPLACE SAFETY
FOR 100 YEARS OUR WC SYSTEM HAS ENCOURAGED EMPLOYERS TO CREATE SAFE WORKPLACES
BY REDUCING INJUIRES THE COSTS WC INSURANCE AND LOST WORK TIME IS REDUCED
THE BILL REDUCES WC BENEFITS SO MUCH THAT THERE WILL BE LESS INCENTIVE FOR COMPANIES TO PROMOTE WORKPLACE SAFETY
REDUCED OR ELIMINATES THE INDEPENDENT JUDGMENT OF YOUR DOCTOR
THE BILL CALLS FOR THE WC CZAR AND AGENCY STAFF TO SET MEDICAL TREATMENT GUIDELINES WHICH

DETERMINE WHAT INJUIRES ARE WORK RELATED
THE ALLOWABLE TREATMENT FOR EACH INJURY INCLUDING THE NUMBER OF THERAPY VISITS, THE TYPE OF SURGERY, THE TYPES OF MEDICATIONS, ETC.

THE SAME LEGISLATURE THAT RAILED AGAINST OBAMACARE FOR REDUCING PHYSICIAN JUDGMENT AND RATIONING MEDICAL TREATMENT HAS NO PROBLEM ALLOWING A NEW WC AGENCY DO THE SAME THING FOR INJURED CITIZENS

THE BILL INCREASES THE BURDEN ON TENNESSEE TAXPAYERS BY:

EXPANDING TENNESSEE GOVERNMENT THROUGH THE CREATION OF A NEW WORKERS’ COMPENSATION DIVISION

FORCING MANY INJURED WORKERS OUT OF THE WORKERS’ COMPENSATION SYSTEM AND ONTO TENNCARE, MEDICARE, SOCIAL SECURITY DISABILITY AND WELFARE.

INCREASES DELAYS AND LITIGATION COSTS FOR INJURED WORKERS’ CLAIMS

LIMITS YOUR ABILITY TO HIRE AN ATTORNEY AND TO HAVE YOUR CASE REVIEWED BY AN JUDGE
If you have ques tons about this new act feel free to contact of our Tennessee Work Comp Attorneys. You can also contact your state representative.

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