Monday, July 02, 2012

Is Workers Comp Dead with Obamacare?

A question that NO ONE is asking:  Is Workers Comp Dead with Obamcare?

Be sure to follow Workers Comp Insider, but I have my own opinion.

Let's assume O-Care survives, and in 2014, everybody either purchases health insurance, or goes into tax/penalty status.  Why would there need to be a Workers Compensation Insurance program at work?

Think about it:  If everybody is in "system" with coverage, then what's the point of DOUBLE covering work related injuries?

Currently, Britain does NOT have a Workers Comp market. They do have some sort of disability/wage replacement scheme, but it's difficult to understand.  Is the employer liable only if negligent?

Workers Comp rates are flying skyward here in California, and I expect the same increases across the country.  A down economy always sees an increase in claims.  My back hurts just typing this...

A Canadian Rugby mate described the system as Disability only.  But, they can't sue employers.  That will NEVER happen in the USA. 

IMHO, universal, or third party payer, negates the need for a separate administrative body to handle workplace injuries.  But, the lawyers will want to sue everybody.  Yes, technically, Obamacare is just a boondoggle for private corporations, but the goal is a universal health service.  The now just pays for health care.  Soon, they'll actually provide it.  MediCAID for all, not Medicare, mind you...

The cost savings on business would be huge.  And, liability for other things would drastically drop, IMHO.  Would they tax the hell out of business to pay for the new MediCAID for all system?  Possibly.  Why not just add it to wage taxes.  Nobody really sees them, since workers aren't sending a check to the Feds every pay period.  An extra tax on wage earners would just reduce their take home, not a business' bottom line.

Curious to see if anyone else picks up on this.  If Workers Comp is reduced to wage replacement only, with injury, rehab, R/x, etc. all paid for by the Feds, rates will go down to manageable levels.

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