Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Urgent Action Needed to Protect Workers Compensation Reform

From: Scott Hauge
Sent: Tuesday, September 05, 2006 7:13 AM
To: Small Business California
Subject: FW: Urgent Action Needed to Protect Workers Compensation Reform

Small businesses have benefited greatly from the reforms of SB899 SB 228 and AB 227 We now need to protect these reforms by getting the Governor to veto three bills that have been sent to him by the legislature.
Please take a few minutes and send an email to Michael Prosio at and cc Dennis Trinidad at mailto:Dennis.Trinidad@OPR.CA.GOV on each of these bills. I would also appreciate a copy.
This is your time to make a difference. We must stop SB815, AB1368 and AB2287. See information below from CCWC.
Have you ever been frustrated by a Federal Regulation. On September 29 at the Sacramento Convention Center 1400 J Street,Room 101 a hearing will be held to give small business people and business organizations the opportunity to voice their concerns. Registration is at 1:30 PM and the hearing will be from 2 to 4 with the SBA National Ombudsman Nicholas Owens and members of the SBA's Regulatory Fairness Board for Region 9. Kim King of King Security who receives this email sits on this Board and should you have any questions please contact her or me. She can be reached at mailto:kking@kingsecurity.netYou can also call Mary Conway-Jepsen of the SBA Sacramento District Office at 916-939-3712 or email her at Testimony can be submitted in advance or at the hearing.
Scott Hauge
Small Business California
CCWC Members,
California State Assembly and Senate End Legislative Session Late Thursday; Erosions to SB 899 Pass from Both Houses
Late Thursday night the California State Assembly and Senate passed several pieces of workers' compensation legislation that do nothing but erode the core set of reforms enacted in SB 228, AB 227 and SB 899. This legislation includes attempts to exempt public safety officers from crucial apportionment statutes, double the Permanent Partial Disability Benefit for workers injured after January 1, 2007, and create in statute a separate set of guidelines and fees for acupuncturists. The several pieces of legislation opposed by CCWC are:
* SB 815 (Perata-D) Workers' Compensation: Permanent Disability Benefits. For a copy of CCWC's letter requesting a veto, please click HERE <> . This legislation doubles the number of weeks afforded to an injured worker for injuries post January 1, 2007. Contrary to the stated intent of the legislation, this bill and benefit increase does NOTHING to address the perceived shortcomings of the existing Permanent Disability Rating Schedule (PDRS) effective January 1, 2005. Instead it only increases benefits for workers injured in 2007, 2008 and 2009. This legislation was strongly supported by Zenith Insurance Company President and CEO, Mr. Stanley Zaks who was represented by Senator Alarcon as saying that Zenith Insurance Company supported in the increase and could absorb the 16.6% increase in costs. Unfortunately with the increased litigation against the PDRS, it is more likely that should this legislation pass, Mr. Zaks would pass this cost onto his customers in California, reversing a trend of lower premiums and a more stable statewide workers' compensation system.
* AB 1368 (Karnette-D) Workers' Compensation: Presumptions: Apportionment. For a copy of CCWC's letter requesting a veto, please click HERE <> . This legislation will exempt tens of public safety designations from the key apportionment tenants of SB 899 and disallow cities, counties, and local agencies from considering non-work factors and events in determining permanent disability the injured worker. Public Safety officers should be subject to the same rules and considerations as the rest of California's injured workers. CCWC strongly urges you to support our request that the Governor Vetoes this legislation.
* AB 2287 (Chu-D) Workers' Compensation: Acupuncture Guidelines and Utilization. For a copy of CCWC's letter requesting a veto, please click HERE <> . This legislation creates in statute separate treatment guidelines and fee schedules for the use of acupuncture in the treatment of injured workers, something in SB 899 that was left up to the prevue of the Division of Workers' Compensation. CCWC believes it should remain the domain of the DWC and strongly urges you to support our call for a Veto.
Scott D. Lipton
Membership Director / Grassroots Organizer California Coalition on Workers' Compensation (CCWC)

1 comment:

Donald said...

So what do we doo for people like me. I was injured in 1998, and so far have spent 5 years with my attorney fighting to get needed surgery. It has taken 1 year-4 months-and 7 times at court to finally get approval for lumbar surgery, even tho all the MRI's show two collapsed disks. And not counting the over 20 Penalties so far that the insurance company has accumelated. So I went from being and industrious worker for 30 years- with scuba diving, skiing, hicking 10 to 15 miles a day with the sierra club, and now because of all the delays, and having to get some of the surgeris done at the VA Hospital, as IC did not seem to care about a 8 MM bulge pressing on a nerve root. And with me taking 8 mg of Dilauded( stronger than morphine, and having had to endure a host of life threatening medical problems, like two heart attacks, two strokes, high blood pressure and diabetes caused by my stress level of having to endure pain 24 hours a day, I am left with a body that used to look and act like an olympic athlete, to one when I went to the beach after three years of not being there, due to pain of sitting, I finally get me and my therapy dog( oh did I forget to mention I lost almost all of my friends due to the fact that I am stuck at home most of the time-I walk with pain-I am typing this with a speech to typing software program, and it is 5 am-I have been up all nite, and the pain pills have given me the 10 minutes of sitting to tell you this. And what was my crime that I have to suffer so? Just got injured on the job due to the employer having no safety program-not enough people to do the job safely, and when someone gets hurt and goes to the hospital they have the audacity to fire them when they get back to work. I was hurt, and suddenly I was persona non grata. They even went so far as to rip up the hurt on the job form I filled out and then when I went to the emergency hospital, then to their own doctors-who gave me Vicodin for the pain, and recommended a MRI, they say I refused to work on those days, even tho the doctors I went to knew I was hurt seriously. That is the start of the saga, and it gets worse with time. I am honest, I believe in fairness, but when the people who should be happy to give me the needed care-when they start denying even therapy after the surgery, I am stuck with what one of my doctors said to me- Donald the insurance company is just waiting for me to die.