Voice Your Support of Worker's Rights: What the Illinois Worker's Compensation Bill Proposes

Voice Your Support of Worker's Rights:  What the Illinois Worker's Compensation Bill Proposes

Unfortunately, workers
are still not out of danger of losing their
rights. Many
Springfield politicians, both
Democrats and Republicans, are still trying to gut the Illinois Worker's
Compensation system. Why? Your workers compensation rights are part of a
gigantic political horse trade involving taxes, the state budget, state and
municipal pension reform, the death penalty, teacher seniority, and (rumor has
it) a casino in Chicago.

Representative John Bradley today
(Friday,
January 7,
2011
) filed House
Amendment Number 2 to SB 1066
.  This
amendment is scheduled to be heard on Sunday,
January 9 at
2 p.m. in the House
Executive Committee.

 Among
the provisions in the bill are:

1) Severe restriction on choice of
medical care.  This legislation limits
the injured worker's right to choose a doctor by forcing them to visit the
doctor the company chooses first.  The "company
doctor" has the financial incentive to get the employee back to work as soon as
possible, instead of as safely as possible; this means that necessary tests may
not get ordered, procedures may not be preformed, and specialist visits may be
limited.

2) Utilization review - creates
presumption in favor of
UR which will be almost impossible to overcome.  It takes away treating doctors discretion to
determine the best treatment for an injured worker.  This is a one-size-fits-all solution to an
issue that demands individualized attention and treatment.

3) Wage Differential - Significant caps
(67 years of age or 5 years) and reviewable for economic change 4 times per
year. Wage differential is designed to preserve the earning power of an
employee injured at work by partially making up the difference in the lost
wages after the injury.  These workers no
longer have the ability or opportunity to earn the wage they once did.  Wage beneficial benefits help make up some of
the difference of lost wages due to a workplace injury.

4) Reduction of Medical Fee Schedule as
well as other provisions designed to deny access to doctors chosen to treat
work injuries.  This legislation reduces
the medical fee schedule for procedures and services rendered by doctors and hospitals.  This reduction will result in fewer doctors
wanting to treat patients on worker's compensation.  The current fee schedule is a result of
negotiations that business and labor agreed upon in 2005 and has produced
tangible savings to employers.

5) This legislation is an attempt to
shift the cost of the workplace injuries to the taxpayers of
Illinois.

 

Contact your legislators over the
weekend and ask for a NO VOTE.  
If you have already taken time to contact your
state legislator, you need you to do it again.
If you have not yet
contacted your state legislator, you need you to do it now.

Call the State Board of Elections at217-782-4141 [press zero]. If you have trouble, please call 312-226-2650 with your
pen and paper ready, for the contact information you need.  Protect your rights as
Illinois citizens. 

 

 

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