Every year, the Legislature passes policy changes by boasting their hypothetical positive effects. However, they rarely revisit their rulings to determine if they in fact materialized. Legislative leaders might emphasize “oversight,” but it rarely happens and if it does, it’s more superficial and self interested rather than objective and deep.
The well regarded Workers’ Compensation Insurance Rating Bureau, or WCIRB, carried out a full review of a massive revamp of the system endorsed by the legislature and Governor Jerry Brown. The study uncovered employer financed savings are far better than the cost benefits.
As a result, the system saw $1.3 billion per year decrease and was very different than the cost benefit flop the legislation predicted. This was applauded by employers who fork out the country’s highest workers’ comp insurance premiums. Nonetheless, the political feud over the complicated system’s requirements remains.
There are several key players that constantly spar over workers’ comp – labor unions, employers, insurers, specialist attorneys and medical-care providers. Every now and then, an alliance within the group settles on something and imposes it on the rest.
The most recent battle was in 2012 which was opposed by medical providers and lawyers specializing in workers’ comp cases.
It was pushed through at the end of the 2012 session and signed by brown. However, Governor Brown has showed no interest in reopening the system’s provisions for the rest of his term. So, now interested parties and legislators might have to wait until a new governor is in office to pursue the battle.