The work-comp logjam is leaking

Support grows for voluntary alternative to work comp, said better for everyone

It’s common knowledge that, for over a century, state-mandated workers’ comp systems have held sway as the “exclusive legal remedy” available to victims of workplace accidents.

Frequently overlooked, however, is the extent to which the work-comp regime has also, by its compulsory nature, excluded alternative and innovative solutions to that very same problem: finding the best solution to the chronic problem of workplace injuries.

Workers’ comp thus operates as a particular case of the general rule that government, by making a particular solution mandatory, tends to freeze innovation in the area of that mandate.

Nevertheless, there is one state in the United States that never entirely abandoned the constitutional principles that prevailed before the wide embrace of Otto von Bismarck’s compulsory industrial-insurance model.

Notably, the state of Texas still proclaims its adherance “to the principle that employers should be allowed to choose whether to offer workers' compensation benefits to their employees.”

Continue reading »


Nevada parents demonstrate
massive desire for school choice

Attendance at Treasurer's regulatory workshop overflows even the ‘overflow’ room

Parents at Friday's Nevada ESAs regulatory workshop watch fellow participants at both Las Vegas and Carson City via statewide video connections.

Las Vegas parents swamped state treasurer hearing rooms at the Sawyer government center Friday, pleading that regulations soon to be written allow their children quickly into the state’s historic new Educational Savings Account program.

With the hearing room’s approximately 200-plus chairs soon full and people standing two-deep along one side and across the back of the room, Treasurer staff opened a smaller, overflow room in the back.

It, too, was soon overflowing.

What were the major questions on most attendees’ minds?

Clearly — given the repeated queries, pleas and statements of parents, school officials and others — those questions concerned a requirement in SB302, the enabling legislation introduced and sponsored by State senator Scott Hammond.

That bill requires that children, to qualify, must have “been enrolled in a public school in this State during the period immediately preceding the establishment of [their] education savings account[s] … for not less than 100 school days without interruption…”

Continue reading »

Health Care

Experts: Years of work-comp turmoil ahead

Obamacare seen hurting injured workers' healthcare access, incentivizing provider fraud

The latest rescue of Obamacare by the U.S. Supreme Court ensures that employers, over the next several years, can expect extra turmoil in state workers’ comp programs.

That’s because genuine fixes to the so-called Affordable Care Act (ACA) — which is already dramatically impacting U.S. industrial-insurance programs — almost certainly will have to await a new president taking office.

Even then, that president and that Congress will first need to come to terms on multiple, complex policy questions.

Ironically, the strain the ACA is imposing on state workers’ compensation programs is occurring, experts say, in all three of the areas of health care that the ACA was supposed to improve — access, cost and quality.

In the short term at least, access is being reduced, costs raised and quality lowered.

The pressures on workers’ comp in those areas seem likely to speed the rise of alternatives to industrial insurance’s traditional form.

Continue reading »

DeMint praises Nevada’s ESA law

Says state-based school-choice programs create momentum for national reform

State regulation of work comp
proceeded on tilted playing field

Bad-actor ‘anecdotes’ finally, after decades, granted new credibility

How state lawmakers
broke the ‘Grand Bargain’

Supreme Court: Injured Nevada workers get
merely ‘a hollow and illusory form of relief’

1990s work-comp laws attacked
injured-worker costs on all fronts

State lawmakers gave surprising legal shield
to insurers, administrators who act in bad faith

Political incentives naturally drove
Nevada workers’ comp into the ditch

Lawmakers saw problems with doctors, high court justices

Nevada’s current work-comp system
a product of earlier near-bankruptcy

Politicized state system kept dispensing generous benefits
while lawmakers, governor, ducked need to face the deficit

Today's workers' comp still bears imprint
of Prussia's fear of democracy, rule of law

Regime's politicized judiciary rewrote liability law to help
feudal autocracy stave off the rise of a liberal middle class

How a Prussian Junker's power obsessions
framed modern work-comp systems: Part 2

Fearing higher costs and a litigation explosion, industry proposed cost-sharing
for accident insurance — but still got higher costs and a litigation explosion

Older articles »