Clinton and Obama are neo-liberals---meaning they want corporations to maximize profits by ignoring labor and justice laws.
Below I look at the Disability law from the New Deal----Workmans' Comp and Disability to show how neo-liberals are ending this New Deal program. Amazon is a global corporation setting up business in the US and can ignore all US laws according to TPP----and they do. Meanwhile, small and regional businesses in the US must pay workmans' comp taxes and they are getting expensive---placing these businesses at a disadvantage and often out of business. In Maryland, great revenue collections for Workmans' Comp and Maryland Assembly laws that make it nearly impossible for a worker to get workers' comp. So, it appears that the Trust for Workers' Comp is fungible money that disappears to corporate profit at the expense of citizens and small business. Notice O'Malley's Rain Tax only hit citizens and small businesses?
SEE THE PATTERN WHEN GLOBAL CORPORATE POLS WORK FOR AN ECONOMY DOMINATED BY GLOBAL CORPORATIONS.
Below are two articles that show the problem with the fleecing and bashing of a very good Federal program that worked just fine as long as oversight and accountability protected the Trust and workers. It shows that workers are not faking to get these benefits in most cases and it shows that corporations are faking to avoid taxes and giving workers their rights. Small businesses play by the rules because they are likely to get audited---big business knows no one is looking.
WHO SHOULD BE PROTECTING AGAINST THIS ABUSE OF WORKMANS' COMP AND DISABILITY? LABOR UNION LEADERS. WHO SUPPORTS THE CLINTON NEO-LIBERALS ALLOWING ALL THESE LAWS BE IGNORED? LABOR UNION LEADERS.
See why making sure the right candidates running for Governor of Maryland get to participate in primaries---you wouldn't want a Governor who appoints directors of DLLR that actually protect the citizens and workers!
Workers' Compensation: Employer Fraud is Alive and Well
workers-compensation.blogspot.com/2011/04/employer-fraud...CachedApr 10, 2011 ·
Premium Fraud is where the employer misclassifies its workforce and gets a lower rate on its premium (like telling the workers’ compensation carrier the ...
The Myth of Workers' Compensation Fraud
by Lisa Cullen Frontline
In recent years, the insurance industry's focus on cheaters and malingerers helped push through national workers' compensation reform, a profitable cost-cutting campaign supported by outrage over alleged abuse of the system. The problem, however, is that the fraud image is false for the vast majority of workers' compensation cases. Studies show that only 1 to 2 percent of workers' compensation claims are fraudulent. 1 2 Certainly, the tens of thousands of workers killed every year were hardly aiming for a free ride on their employer's tab.
Maryland Association for Justice
Below you see a good explanation of a strong labor law. These lawyers are sounding an alarm that the future of this vital health care law is threatened. Please look at what these trial lawyers describe as the issues surrounding Worker's Compensation and then look at how I widen the issue to look at how TPP will make all labor law like this one disappear.
The Workers' Compensation System was established almost 100 years ago to provide compensation to workers injured in connection with their employment. It is an exclusive remedy for compensation, that is, the worker may not sue his employer or a fellow employee for injuries sustained in the course of the worker's employment. As consideration for not being able to sue the employer or fellow employee for injuries they may have caused, the worker is to receive compensation for lost time from work, compensation for temporary or permanent disability, appropriate and timely medical care, and, when needed, rehabilitation services. The award of these various benefits is provided under the auspices of the Workers' Compensation Commission which hears all contested cases. The amounts and extent of the benefits are prescribed by law, and the Commission renders awards based on its determination of the nature and extent of the worker's injury and disability. The system is designed and intended to provide the injured worker a simplified process to provide an expeditious adjudication of the claim, including the right to receive prompt and appropriate medical attention to maximize the recovery. Under Maryland law, an employee who is injured on the job and whose injuries are determined to be compensable is entitled to certain benefits, especially medical treatment. Medical care by a provider of the worker's own choice is one of the most important benefits provided under the statute. This benefit helps effectuate a major cornerstone of the public policy that underlies the worker compensation system — that the injured worker receives prompt, appropriate medical care in order to maximize the degree and speed of recovery. Only when the injured worker can independently choose his or her own health care provider will the worker have confidence in the diagnosis and treatment plan, which in turn will lead to a quicker recovery and earlier return to work. However, in recent years there have been a number of bills introduced that, if enacted, would have delayed the injured worker's access to appropriate and timely medical care. Among these proposals was a bill to establish an arbitrary 30 day limit on a physician’s ability to dispense medication to his/her patients if they are being treated for work related injuries. The effect of such proposal would be to delay the ability to obtain medication in a timely and appropriate manner. Other bills could delay the ability of a worker to receive needed timely medical care, thus reducing the chances of a maximum recovery from the injuries.
Other initiatives are designed to embarrass the employee, add delay and expense to the workers’ compensation claims process
Employer fraud in Maryland is soaring as regards workers' comp and the workers' comp Trust is looted for reasons other than workers getting good access to care when hurt. Below you see the people assigned to make sure these Federal laws are ignored. O'Malley appointed the director with the OK by your Maryland Assembly pols and Hogan will do the same because both parties are crony and corrupt.
Maryland State Workers' Compensation Commission msa.maryland.gov/msa/mdmanual/25ind/html/80work.htmlCached
STATE WORKERS' COMPENSATION COMMISSION
Appointed by Governor with Senate advice & consent to 12-year terms: R. Karl Aumann, Esq., Chair ...
As always, when the government does not enforce or protect our rights as citizens the private lawyers get rich doing what our government should be. So, in Maryland workers' comp and disability lawyers make a killing simply getting people the rights Martin O'Malley, the Maryland Assembly, and Baltimore City Hall are required to protect.
What happens if you're injured on the job and unable to work? How will you pay your medical bills and make ends meet? Most states require employers to carry workers' compensation insurance to provide for citizens who are injured or become sick or disabled as a result of performing their jobs. Each state has its own requirements for employees to qualify for workers' compensation insurance.
Maryland Law and Workers' Compensation Claims
Maryland Workers' Compensation Law is very specific about what types of injuries are covered, even if they happened "on the job." The Maryland statute mandates that harm suffered by an employee must be caused by an "accidental personal injury arising out of and in the course of employment." Cases fall into two categories: accidental injury or occupational disease.
Butschky & Butschky, LLC represents employees who have been injured or become ill or disabled as a result of their work, including those hurt in Maryland construction accidents. Over the past two decades, we have appeared before the Maryland Workers' Compensation Commission, representing thousands of injured and sick employees, from teachers to police officers to plumbers and physicians. Anyone can become sick or injured at work, and we have successfully represented clients from across the spectrum of professions.
As experienced personal injury attorneys who are well versed in Maryland Workers' Compensation Law, we can ensure that you receive the proper medical care, document your injuries or illness properly, and make sure that you receive the maximum Workers' Compensation benefits to which you are entitled under Maryland law.
Benefits may include Disability Benefits (temporary, partial, total, and permanent), Medical/Hospitalization, Wage Reimbursement and Vocational Rehabilitation.
Since Maryland has a Maryland Assembly that works for corporate profit----and since neo-cons and neo-liberals work for global corporate profit----none of the laws are written to protect labor and justice.....they are written to be vague and broad so that the laws are not enforced. Below you see the phrases your Maryland Assembly led by Clinton neo-liberals and Bush neo-cons included to make sure corporations do not lose with workmans' comp and disability.
Keep in mind that Trans Pacific Trade Pact will allow global corporations to ignore all US labor and justice laws and Maryland is pushing a global corporate economy as hard as it can!
Please just glance through this document that can be boring to see how your pols work against you! Remember, at the Federal level Obama has appointed someone ignoring this program and outsourcing to corporate contractors having a goal of making sure as little as possible is spent on claims.
REMEMBER----THE BIGGEST EMPLOYER FRAUDS TODAY------PRETENDING EMPLOYEES ARE NOT EMPLOYEES BUT INDEPENDENT CONTRACTORS TO AVOID ALL THESE PAYROLL AND WORKERS' COMP AND DISABILITY TAXES AND IN MARYLAND THIS IS SOARING.
Please note that the U.S. Department of Labor Office of Workers' Compensation Programs OWCP administers four major programs including:
the Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Program, the Federal Employees' Compensation Program, the Longshore and Harbor Workers' Compensation Program and the Black Lung Benefits Program.
The OWCP provides wage replacement benefits, medical treatment, vocational rehabilitation and other benefits to federal workers or their dependents who are injured at work or acquire an occupational disease,
Go to their web site for information if your are covered under these programs.
This site is intended only to provide a brief, general description of the Maryland Workers' Compensation Law and benefits. It is not a comprehensive review of the law nor is it intended as a replacement for Legal guidance and advice from a competent lawyer.
The Maryland Workers' Compensation Act may be found in the Labor and Employment Article, Title 9, Annotated Code of Maryland.
Since the early 1900's, every State has had some form of protection for employees who are hurt while working. The old system requiring lawsuits against employers just wasn't effective. Negligence by the employer was often difficult if not impossible to prove and the legal process was very time consuming and expensive, with no benefits paid to injured workers during the process. This is why the States passed workers' compensation laws, providing a statutory solution to the problem. Workers' compensation was a new kind of insurance which all employers were required to obtain to protect their employees.
Not all injuries are covered by the Workers' Compensation Law even if the injury happened "on the job." In Maryland, in order for an injury to be covered, the harm suffered by the employee must have been caused by an "accidental personal injury arising out of and in the course of employment." Those words from the Maryland statute are VERY important. Just because a person is hurt "while working," "on the job" or "at work" may not be enough for the insurance to apply. Additionally, if you can prove that you have an occupational disease you may be entitled to Workers' Compensation benefits.
In determining whether an injury falls under the coverage of workers' compensation the first thing to understand is that this law protects only employees. The Workers' Compensation statute provides legal guidance on who is a covered employee and employer. A genuine employer-employee relationship must exist. Some businesses are set up in such a way that some persons don't actually work for the business but work with it as independent contractors. Other businesses don't have any employees because they are a sole-proprietorship or partnership. Persons in these categories, if they want workers' compensation insurance, may elect to be covered and can obtain the necessary insurance. There is a statutory procedure for electing coverage.
Accidental Personal Injury & Occupational Diseases
If there is an employer-employee relationship between the worker and their company, the next factor considered is if the injury was an accident. An accident is when a sudden unusual or extraordinary event causes an unexpected result. The unexpected result is a bodily injury; that must be caused by an unexpected or unusual event. Injuries that do not fit into this category may very well be covered by general health insurance but may not be compensable under the Maryland Workers' Compensation Act.
Exceptions to the accident requirement are occupational diseases. These are illnesses caused by the nature of the circumstances surrounding the worker's job. For example, asbestosis is a disease that may have been caused by a worker's job of removing asbestos from buildings. Some forms of skin, eye or lung disease may have been caused by long term exposure to chemical solvents or other solutions used on the job. Conditions such as these may result in the employee's being covered by workers' compensation even though there was no specific "accident;" they are covered as occupational diseases.
Arising Out of Employment
For a compensable accidental injury claim, the injury must "arise out of the employment". If the conditions under which the work is required to be performed by the employer causes the worker's injury, it is said to "arise out of" the employment. The focus of this factor is on the exposure of the employee to risk or danger because of the job requirements. For example, if a person must work in an environment that is usually wet and slippery--for instance, a car wash facility or a water amusement ride at an entertainment park--then a slip-and-fall injury experienced by that worker could be said to arise out of the person's employment.
Arising in the Course of Employment
For a compensable accidental injury claim, the injury must also "be in the course of employment." "In the course of employment" is a slightly different factor. Here the attention centers on the time, place and circumstances of the injury. If the injury occurs during the period of time when an employee was at work, the employer's place of business or such other location as may have been designated by the employer, and while the employee was performing their job duties or something related to them when the injury took place, the injury is said to have arisen in the course of that person's employment.
If all of the above factors are satisfied -and that's not always easy to determine initially- a worker's injury will generally be covered by workers' compensation insurance. Frequently, an investigation of the claim is necessary. If a worker believes they have sustained a compensable injury, an Employee Claim may be filed with the Workers' Compensation Commission to receive a determination regarding the type and amount of any benefits to which the worker may be entitled. Initial determinations that may have been made by insurance carriers are not binding on the Commission.
The legislature of each State determines the type and amount of benefits which are payable under workers' compensation insurance, just as the various States differ in determining what kinds of injuries are compensable and which are not. Based upon the laws enacted in each State the insurance companies who provide this type of insurance coverage consider the probabilities of injury for different occupational categories and set their premium rates accordingly. This is the amount charged to employers for their workers' compensation insurance. The Workers' Compensation Commission does not establish rates of premiums, nor does the Commission itself provide insurance coverage. Workers' compensation payments are not taxable to the employee as income.
The Maryland Workers' Compensation Act provides for the following benefits in appropriate cases:
Temporary Total Disability Benefits This is the period of time frequently referred to as the "healing period". If an employee's injury has resulted in a disability that prevents the person from returning to work at all -that is, the person is completely disabled for all work purposes- then the employee may receive temporary total disability payments. If the period of disability is fourteen (14) days or less then the compensation benefit payments may not be allowed for the first three (3) days of disablement except for payments for hospital, nursing or other medical services, funeral expenses or medicine. If the period of temporary disability lasts for more than fourteen (14) days, then the compensation is allowed from the date of disability.
It will take a greater effort on my part to find how the Maryland Comptroller applies to his corporate revenue column the payroll and workers' comp taxes he is supposed to collect because I do not see a separate column......needless to say we KNOW there is fraud. I wanted to look at the ratio of small businesses paying vs the fact that corporations are paying none at all.
Below you see where Clinton neo-liberals and Bush neo-cons want to take us with Trans Pacific Trade Pact. Amazon.com is now registered overseas and is not a US corporation. It comes back to the US as a global corporation and builds its warehouses and VOILA----they are not required to follow US labor and justice laws if TPP is passed. Of course, since Obama is not enforcing Federal laws corporations are already ignoring as if its a done deal. In Maryland, we see this all the time. As the employee states---he was not only denied workmans' comp----he was expected to work or be fired.
THAT IS WHAT HAPPENED BEFORE FDR AND THE NEW DEAL......NO MATTER HOW DANGEROUS THE WORKPLACE----YOU WORKED AT YOUR OWN RISK AND SUFFERED ALL OF THE CONSEQUENCES. THAT IS WHERE YOUR MARYLAND AND BALTIMORE POLS ARE TAKING US.
WHO SUPPORTS CLINTON NEO-LIBERALS EVERY ELECTION? NATIONAL LABOR UNION LEADERS AND THIS IS WHAT THEY SUPPORT!
You see how far this can go and if you do not fall in line----there is no safety net says Clinton Wall Street global corporate neo-liberals.
'Yep I'm hurt right now I hurt myself there and they expect the exact same thing out of me as they did when it before I was hurt'
'Being homeless is better than working for Amazon' Nichole Gracely has a master’s degree and was one of Amazon’s best order pickers. Now, after protesting the company, she’s homeless
Friday 28 November 2014 08.30 EST The Guardian
I am homeless. My worst days now are better than my best days working at Amazon.
According to Amazon’s metrics, I was one of their most productive order pickers – I was a machine, and my pace would accelerate throughout the course of a shift. What they didn’t know was that I stayed fast because if I slowed down for even a minute, I’d collapse from boredom and exhaustion.
During peak season, I trained incoming temps regularly. When that was over, I’d be an ordinary order picker once again, toiling in some remote corner of the warehouse, alone for 10 hours, with my every move being monitored by management on a computer screen.
Superb performance did not guarantee job security. ISS is the temp agency that provides warehouse labor for Amazon and they are at the center of the SCOTUS case Integrity Staffing Solutions vs. Busk. ISS could simply deactivate a worker’s badge and they would suddenly be out of work. They treated us like beggars because we needed their jobs. Even worse, more than two years later, all I see is: Jeff Bezos is hiring.
I have never felt more alone than when I was working there. I worked in isolation and lived under constant surveillance. Amazon could mandate overtime and I would have to comply with any schedule change they deemed necessary, and if there was not any work, they would send us home early without pay. I started to fall behind on my bills.
At some point, I lost all fear. I had already been through hell. I protested Amazon. The gag order was lifted and I was free to speak. I spent my last days in a lovely apartment constructing arguments on discussion boards, writing articles and talking to reporters. That was 2012 and Amazon’s labor and business practices were only beginning to fall under scrutiny. I walked away from Amazon’s warehouse and didn’t have any other source of income lined up.
I cashed in on my excellent credit, took out cards, and used them to pay rent and buy food because it would be six months before I could receive my first unemployment compensation check.
I received $200 a week for the following six months and I haven’t had any source of regular income since those benefits lapsed. I sold everything in my apartment and left Pennsylvania as fast as I could. I didn’t know how to ask for help. I didn’t even know that I qualified for food stamps.
I furthered my Amazon protest while homeless in Seattle. When the Hachette dispute flared up, I “flew a sign,” street parlance for panhandling with a piece of cardboard: “I was an order picker at amazon.com. Earned degrees. Been published. Now, I’m homeless, writing and doing this. Anything helps.”
I have made more money per word with my signs than I will probably ever earn writing, and I make more money per hour than I will probably ever be paid for my work. People give me money and offer well wishes and I walk away with a restored faith in humanity.
I flew my protest sign outside Whole Foods while Amazon corporate employees were on lunch break, and they gawked. I went to my usual flying spots around Seattle and made more money per hour protesting Amazon with my sign than I did while I worked with them. And that was in Seattle. One woman asked, “What are you writing?” I told her about the descent from working poor to homeless, income inequality, my personal experience. She mentioned Thomas Piketty’s book, we chatted a little, she handed me $10 and wished me luck. Another guy said, “Damn, that’s a great story! I’d read it,” and handed me a few bucks.
If the US supreme court rules against the Amazon workers and determines they should not be paid while waiting in line – I’ll protest some more.
I’ve applied for many jobs, and any prospective employer that runs a Google search of my name can see my discontent with my last employer.
I couldn’t afford to be working poor and now I’m chronically homeless. My homelessness isn’t really a mystery. I simply could not afford to keep a roof over my head and asking my family was not an option. I’ve met other intelligent, hard-working homeless people. Many put in years of service before becoming disabled and summarily tossed outside without any money. We’re expected to be dumb. We didn’t choose homelessness.
I don’t know what the picture of the average American homeless person is, but I’m sure it wouldn’t include me. I graduated college. I have been published in a scholarly journal and a social-justice oriented website. I have completed my MA in American Studies. I ditched plans to pursue a PhD because it clearly wasn’t going to be a viable career option: I did not appreciate the so-called privilege to become volunteer labor and work for less than minimum wage as a graduate student, and then maybe, if I were so fortunate, become an adjunct professor. It didn’t take long for me to realize that I was living a fantasy, thinking that a student of the humanities would be tolerated, and paid decently, in the corporate world of the modern university. I could never afford to perform an unpaid internship and that damaged my long-term career prospects. I had to work at jobs that paid money, jobs like the one at Amazon, while I went to school and took out loans.
I did not simply perish when I lost all sources of income and could no longer afford to pay the bills. A survival instinct that I didn’t even know I possessed manifested itself. I learned to live without money and without a home. I worked at REI in Eugene, Oregon back in 2002 and I know how to live outside. I refuse to live within oppressive walls. I stopped worrying myself with terrifying numbers. They aren’t even real any more.
I’ve camped and protested for the right to construct modern-day Hoovervilles. I slept on cardboard and concrete throughout Seattle’s rainiest March on record. Camped on DOT land off Interstates. Rubber tramped then leather tramped, carrying sleeping bag, tarp, and a change of clothes, not knowing where I was going to sleep for the night, hiding so I could get some rest.
My wallet does not contain a single bill. I need glasses. I need winter clothes. I need cash and an opportunity. Anything! I’ve applied for jobs, both professional and with physical labor. Taken my MA off my resume so I don’t look overqualified. I’ve tried everything. Maybe it’s because I protested Amazon; maybe it’s because my credit is wrecked. Maybe it’s because I used homeless services as addresses. Maybe it’s because there really aren’t many jobs available.
The homeless and cash-starved are merely kept alive while nothing changes. In actuality, austerity measures are felt on the ground and essential social services are woefully inadequate. We’ve woken up outside on most days and often walked miles before breakfast with a pack on my back.
I’ve worked for places to live in Oregon, mostly cookingand feeding families. It was a kind of Maoist re-education program– a little too much like slavery for my comfort. I became a capitalist. I flew a sign to escape harrowing conditions in Oregon and I arrived in Seattle with nothing. When I landed I saw green. I created carefully crafted signs with cardboard and a Sharpie and, just like that, I was making money again. Hundred-dollar hours became the norm, not the exception. I learned that capitalism is fun when you’re winning. I needed a laptop to use as a professional tool. Social services couldn’t help. But I got one by flying a sign in Seattle. It’s been an incredibly useful tool.
My partner and I have actively sought out gainful employment, a place to call home, and community. We enjoyed lovely days in intelligent, civilized Seattle and we left, because we’ve learned that it’s best to keep moving. It’s not easy to start up anywhere with absolutely nothing.
My heart has expanded and I have learned that the American people are much better than our political and economic systems. I have been the recipient, and giver, of acts of kindness that I never before knew were possible.
Anyone who bemoans the weakening of Americans should look at the hardy homeless. It takes tremendous strength to get through a day. I’m stronger, healthier and happier than ever. There’s more respect for a homeless woman out on the streets than there is in a warehouse for Amazon workers.
Below you see again Obama simply continues all of the Bush Administration policies----very little difference and that is because they are both working to maximize corporate profit and end all Federal social programs.
The only problem with Federal workmans' comp is the lack of oversight and accountability. What this law seeks to do is adopt the Maryland approach to lengthen the award process to the point people really hurt end up frustrated and give up before getting the care they need. Again, it is the Veterans Administration approach to care----let them wait for months to access care to lower costs.
These reforms make sure the Federal program that allowed workmans' comp to continue on into retirement now reverts over to that Federal employee's retirement. Think about the future of SSDI which is the civilian equivilent of the Federal retirement for someone with disability and you get a program that is slated to end.
They are simply closing any loopholes these employees will have to continue disability payments.
FECA Reform Sought Again
Published: February 22, 2006
More in: Fedweek
The Bush administration has once again requested changes in the Federal Employees’ Compensation Act, the workplace illness and injury benefits program that it says would bring the program more in line with practices in similar state government programs. “Under current law, individuals can receive FECA benefits indefinitely, as long as their injury or illness diminishes their wage-earning capacity. Because they are tax-free, FECA benefits typically exceed federal retirement benefits, which entices individuals to remain on FECA past when they would otherwise have retired,” the administration says in a budget justification document. The proposed legislation primarily would amend FECA to prospectively convert retirement-age beneficiaries to a retirement annuity-level benefit, impose a waiting period for benefits, streamline claims processing, and permit the government to recapture compensation costs from responsible third parties. The projected 10-year saving to the government is $592 million. Similar proposals have been made in the past but not enacted.
April 11, 2013
Obama targets federal workers comp programs in 2014 budget proposal
By Roberto Ceniceros
President Barack Obama's 2014 budget proposal sent to Congress on Wednesday calls for reforms to two federal workers compensation programs: the Federal Employees' Compensation Act and the Defense Base Act.
The White House is proposing to act on longstanding recommendations by the Government Accountability Office and other federal organizations by converting retirement-age FECA beneficiaries to a “retirement annuity-level benefit.”
FECA currently creates an incentive for federal employees injured on the job to continue receiving its benefits beyond their retirement age, according to the budget proposal.
“In addition, while state workers compensation systems have waiting periods for benefits to discourage less serious claims, FECA has a three-day waiting period for non-postal employees that is imposed too late in the claims process to be effective,” the proposal states.
The proposed changes also would impose a new up-front waiting period for FECA benefits and give the U.S. Department of Labor “additional tools to reduce improper payments.” The budget proposal does not provide specifics, but the FECA changes would save more than $500 million over 10 years, it says.
The president's proposal also would replace the current Defense Base Act program with a governmentwide benefit fund that would bill individual federal agencies for their workers comp insurance costs.
The DBA provides benefits for contract overseas workers on U.S. military bases and for workers on overseas public works projects.
Under the DBA's current structure, federal agencies pay for their insurance through a “patchwork” of individual contracts, and its costs now exceed benefits paid “by a significant margin,” according to the budget proposal.
The proposal points out that the DBA's caseload increased by nearly 2,600% from 2002 to 2011, with more than 11,600 claims filed in 2011.
Here you see the Federal and State government employees are being treated to the same disregard and dismantling of their workers' comp and disability protections. Keep in mind that Maryland's DLLR is now Obama's Labor Secretary for the very reason that Perez worked in this environment of ignoring all of the reasons for workers injury claims and ignoring the payment of corporate workers' compensation taxes.
Perez will continue the Bush Administration's bill to close more and more of Federal workers' ability to access care just as he did in Maryland.
WHO SUPPORTED THE PEREZ APPOINTMENT AS LABOR SECRETARY? TRUMKA THE NATIONAL AFL-CIO LEADER.
TRUMKA KNOWS PEREZ IS THERE TO END LABOR'S RIGHTS PREPARING FOR TRANS PACIFIC TRADE PACT!
So, the Social Security Disability Insurance was subprimed to implosion as the track for disabled civilians----Workmans' Compensation for both government and private sector employees is under attack......and we have an Affordable Care Act creating all kinds of new ways to determine who and how health care is dispersed written by corporations not wanting money to be spent on workplace injury.
Getting compensation shouldn't be so hard for federal workers hurt on the job
Network News By Joe Davidson Thursday, July 22, 2010
Working for the federal government should not be hazardous to employees' health.
But when it is, Uncle Sam should not be as stingy as he was made out to be during a hearing Wednesday on Capitol Hill.
Leaders of employee organizations, including those representing baggage screeners and federal firefighters, provided one example after another of the government's failure to care, either promptly or at all, for federal workers who were injured on the job.
Consider these stories from Jon Adler, president of the Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association:
-- On Sept. 11, 2001, Secret Service Special Agent Mike Vaiani ran into the World Trade Center, attempting to rescue those inside. He seriously injured his neck, shoulders and back in the process.
First, the Labor Department's Office of Workers' Compensation Programs lost his file. Then he started getting dunned for unpaid medical bills.
"After enduring this miserable process," Adler told the House Oversight and Government Reform subcommittee on the federal workforce, "Vaiani stated, 'I would rather run back into the tower while it's on fire than have to deal with the Department of Labor.' "
-- Postal Inspector Bill Paliscak went to the Brentwood postal facility in Northeast Washington when anthrax-contaminated mail was discovered in 2001. Paliscak became ill as a result of anthrax exposure. The compensation office initially denied his claim. It was accepted in May 2002, but not before his credit was ruined and his medical care was disrupted.
-- Immigration and Customs Enforcement Special Agent Tim Chard participated in the dismantling of 100 meth labs between 2000 and 2007. In 2008, he began to suffer from pain and other symptoms apparently connected to meth lab toxins. The compensation office rejected his claim, so the Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association Foundation paid for him to enter a treatment program.
"The common denominator from these horror stories is the OWCP is unable to effectively process claims filed by injured law enforcement officers," Adler said. A denial of a claim, or delay in processing it, can exacerbate medical problems and financially ruin employees, he told the panel, because once they say a health problem is work-related, private insurance will not cover it.
Shelby Hallmark, director of the compensation program, testified before Adler spoke and did not respond to the specific examples Adler offered. Hallmark, in his prepared statement, said his office "is dedicated to promptly adjudicating claims, promptly paying medical bills and claims for compensation."
He told Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D.C.) that his office does not make payments while a claim is being adjudicated. For complicated cases, the agency's goal is to decide on a claim within six months, he said.
Of course, a complicated case might be one that involves a complicated and serious ailment that is expensive to fix. A six-month wait could be devastating in those circumstances.
Those complicated cases sometimes involve illnesses, such as cancer, that might have been caused when an employee came in contact with a toxin while working. These cases require lots of detailed medical evidence to establish the link between the illness and the job.
The claims acceptance rate for occupation illnesses was only 52 percent last year, compared with a 90 percent rate for traumatic injuries, such as being cut by work equipment, Hallmark told the panel.
The subcommittee's hearing comes two days after President Obama announced his POWER Initiative, an acronym for Protecting Our Workers and Ensuring Reemployment. He expects the program to reduce federal workplace injuries and cut lost time.
Obama cited more than 79,000 new claims and more than $1.6 billion in workers' compensation payments in fiscal 2009. "Executive departments and agencies can and should do even more to improve workplace safety and health, reduce the financial burden of injury on taxpayers, and relieve unnecessary suffering by workers and their families," he said.
Just before the hearing, the subcommittee held a business meeting where it approved legislation to enhance training for federal supervisors. Under the bill, supervisors would receive training within one year of entering their new positions and every three years after that.
The panel, chaired by Rep. Stephen F. Lynch (D-Mass.), also advanced legislation that calls on the Office of Personnel Management to use a different method to calculate payments by the cash-strapped U.S. Postal Service to the Civil Service Retirement System. After recalculating the payments, the legislation directs OPM to transfer any Postal Service surplus in payments already made to the USPS Retiree Health Benefits Fund.
Estimates of the surplus range from $55 billion to $75 billion.
The Affordable Care Act is simply the Republican health policy ending public health care like Medicare, Medicaid, and Federal programs like Workmans' Comp. You can see the goal if you read this article on the outcomes of the Romney Care in Massachusetts----the same plan. What they did in Massachusetts and they will do with ACA is pushed people away from making claims through workmans' comp to go through the personal state run health plan. The problem most people see with the Affordable Care Act is that deductibles and co-pays keep people from being able to afford to access health care and the same happens to people injured at work. So, pushing people over to these health systems from the Workmans' Comp system is the way to end this public disability and workers' comp program.
This is why we know national labor leaders that were sent out to shout for the Affordable Care Act knew it was going to dismantle all of their union member's access to care....both public unions and private union health plans. National NAACP and justice organizations knew as well and had people and children of color out shouting for the ACA.
IT WAS SO SAD TO SEE THE LABOR AND JUSTICE ORGANIZATIONS WE BUILT IN THE 1960S USED TO DISMANTLE ALL OF THESE GAINS!
As with the claims for lower costs from the ACA-----this claim of lower costs to Workmans' Comp comes from the fact people cannot access it....ergo costs go down.
Under the Massachusetts Health Care Reform Act, costs within the workers’ compensation system decreased. Although PPACA is more complex, similar provisions between the two laws enable a prospective comparison of what may happen to the workers’ compensation system as more elements of PPACA are implemented. It must be noted that Massachusetts already had one of the lowest workers’ compensation fee schedules in the country and that quantifying the changes under PPACA may take time. Nevertheless, the practicing orthopaedic surgeon should be aware of the actual and potential changes to deal appropriately with workers’ compensation claims and changes in reimbursement schedules. Anticipating a changing demographic pattern—in terms of how patients will be treated under which insurance system—is vital for orthopaedic surgeons who see a variety of musculoskeletal conditions associated with workplace injuries.
Vasanth Sathiyakumar, BA; Daniel J. Stinner, MD; William T. Obremskey MD, MPH; A. Alex Jahangir MD; and Manish K. Sethi, MD are associated with the Vanderbilt Center for Health Policy.