Posted by Del on March 11, 1999 at 22:08:11:
In Reply to: SB 220 needs killing posted by Tom Lawyer on March 10, 1999 at 12:17:38:
Both Tom's are right in part.
This bill is now being hotly debated by MLAC after being thrown back to them by Legislative Committee. A compromise had been reached between several parties including the Governor that would have set up an impartial 3rd party to monitor all ins co. claim closures for the first two years. The ins. companies including those Tom Lawyer mentioned in essence said; "We the foxes want no witnesses as we raid the hen house and destroy all the animals (i.e. injured workers). Due to this "spoiled brat" attitude of theirs they have lost credibility with some state officials. If the comp carriers plan to act ethically and not abuse this great added power why are they stubbornly insisting that no one have the right to look over their shoulders.
Senate Bill 220 says in part this:
(1) The Director of the Department of Consumer and Business Services shall phase out the claim closure activities of the Department of Consumer and Business Services in a manner that minimizes disruption for workers, insurers and self-insured employers to the greatest extent possible.
(2) The director may:
(a) After providing reasonable written notice, require insurers and self insured employers to assume claim closure responsibilities by a date certain for all claims or specific kinds of claims.
(b) Take other reasonable steps as may be necessary to implement this section and the amendments to ORS 656.206, 656.218, 656.245, 656.262, 656.268, 656.270, 256.273, 656.277, 656.283, 656.295, 656.307, 656.726, 657.170 and 659.455 by sections 1, 2, 4 to 14 and 16 to 18 of this 1999 Act.
(3) Notwithstanding subsection (2) of this section, the director shall cease all claim closure activities and insurers and self-insured employers shall assume the responsiility for closing all workers' Compensation claims.
Yes, that's right. No more Evaluation's Unit within WCD to reverse blatant and illegal injury claim closures.
We believe SB 220 will increase in massive percentile the suffering of Oregon's already 3rd class citizens. The court route within WCD takes several months or years. When read in its entirety and disected it becomes clear that this bill will subbort the basic function of government to serve and PROTECT its people. Considering the overwhelming proof that comp carriers are not upholding their obligation to help injured workers return to good health we find this legislation an abomination and another clear violation of the civil rights of Oregon workers.
P.S. To Mr. Mattis. With all do respect, although DCBS may have introduced this bill we who know the inside story of how things work with WCD Management believe the actual author of this bill is none other than a Liberty Northwest Hack who has always lerked in the shadows by having others take credit? for his bill writing and ideas. This individual who shall remain nameless has had some involvement in almost every work comp measure this decade.
As far as the planned addition of two ombudsman we find this GROSSLY inadequate. This office is having considerably more responsibilities added this year. Inquiries to them have increased from about 30K in 1996 to about 48K in 1998. There are six ombudsmans and its been over 3 1/2 years since they had an increase in staff.
This huge increase has happened with fewer accepted claims so who in their right mind would even consider SB 220 as being responsible government.
Please contact me Mr. Mattis.
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