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January Action Call

Senator Chuck Poochigian recently stated, "skyrocketing worker's compensation costs continue to be one of the biggest obstacles to job creation in the state. This broken system is emblematic of California's hostile business climate. Reform must be dramatic and attack all of the cost drivers, while improving the quality of care for injured workers. Every dollar paid for increased worker's compensation insurance is one less dollar available for employers to hire new employees, or provide increased compensation for existing employees. He also stated that, " Workers compensation reform has been a primary focus of the new administration. It is important that business owners continue their fight for change. The legislative process can deliver a death blow to rational policy ideas, but with fortitude and common sense real reform is not only possible but, if we are to experience economic recovery, it is imperative."

The Problem
Last year's reforms were squeezed from the medical side of the worker's compensation system. Regrettably, important overreaching systemic changes were left out of the package. This means that the worker's compensation system that has grown from $11.3 billion to $28 billion since 1998 still needs to be reduced by $11 billion to provide employers any significant relief. California's employers have seen their premiums increase an average of 70% in the last two years, bringing the average worker's compensation premium from $3.34 per $100 of payroll to $5.85. This figure is estimated to increase to $6.33 shortly. The national average is $ 2.46 per $100 of payroll, less than one-half of California's figure!

ISSUE OVERVIEW
United Small Business stands 100% behind two bills, SB 3 (Poochigian) and AB 1 (Maldonado). These bills have been heard in their respective committees; however, no action has been taken to date. These reforms focus on the following issues:

  1. Use of objective medical standards
  2. Creation of an independent medical review system to determine appropriate treatment protocols
  3. Permanent disability reform
  4. Penalty reform
  5. Limiting claims to work-related injuries
  6. Expansion of existing cost-saving options such as alternative dispute resolution (ADR), group health, and self-insurance models.

We must force this recalcitrant legislature to pass these much-needed bills. They must capitulate or heed the remainder of Oliver Cromwell's address--"Therefore, I say to thee 'Go! In the name of God, "Go!'" The small business community must continue to express our support for this legislation, part of our "Contract with California."

WHAT TO DO
Please pass this Action Call on to each and every business owner you
know who believes in serious workers compensation reform. Fax or
e-mail your legislator with your support of SB 3 and AB 1. Please
copy USB on all corre spondence:

email: unitedsmallbus1@comcast.net or
fax: 630-475-3844

United Small Business
Proclaiming Liberty to America's Small Business
P O Box 3132 St. Charles, IL 60174 - unitedsmallbus1@comcast.net
Phone 877-791-7705 Fax 630-475-3844

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