Letter: Worker beware of work comp reform

There are 20 changes proposed in the two identical workers’ compensation bills that passed out of Iowa’s House and Senate Commerce Committees. If you think this bill is a balanced update or a “tweak” remember this: every single change has one purpose — to shift the cost of work injuries from insurance companies onto workers, their families and taxpayers.

Let me explain. With this rare situation in which both chambers and the governor’s office are Republican, their longtime supporters — billion dollar insurance companies — have pulled no punches in this assault on Iowa’s vulnerable workers. This is their big chance to cash in on anti-worker legislation. Key changes make it twice as easy to deny that claims are “work-related” which means that tactics of delay and deny will become — you guessed it — legal. Medical bills will still need to be paid after the denial. Those will be sent to Medicaid and Medicare. Lost wage replacement benefits will be denied routinely. Injured workers will be forced onto food stamps. But it’s not too late. Call your legislators and tell them not to shift work comp costs from insurance carriers onto state taxpayers. This insurance company swag bag bill needs to be voted down.

Darin Luneckas

Cedar Rapids

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