Friday, August 21, 2009, 08:00 AM - Political developmentsYesterday's piece by Kevin Yamamura in the Sacramento Bee details the many reasons why a SCIF asset sale, part of the state budget deal, is likely to fail.
In case you missed it, here it is:
http://www.sacbee.com/capitolandcalifor ... 24061.html
Sale of SCIF's assets, even if a ready buyer can be found, is a bad idea that may destabilize the carrier of last resort and damage the comp marketplace.
Here are some earlier pieces I wrote on a SCIF sale:
"SCIF for Sale?":
http://workerscompzone.com/index.php?en ... 423-230731
http://workerscompzone.com/index.php?en ... 623-211148
(what's shakin' in the California comp world? you can
share it at firstname.lastname@example.org)
Thursday, August 20, 2009, 10:50 PM - Political developmentsAmateur hour at the White House? Has the Obama Administration misread the politics of getting a healthcare bill done?
That's the thesis of commentator Jay Cost, who (literally) maps out his theory:
http://www.realclearpolitics.com/horser ... ous_1.html
Thursday, August 20, 2009, 08:26 AM - Political developmentsKudos to Insurance Commish Steve Poizner's department for their insurance fraud arrest yesterday.
The arrest of a Diamond Bar man highlights the growing problem of employer fraud. Joseph Baiden, dba Nurse Connection Inc., was charged
with falsifying payroll records to lower his workers' comp premium.
SCIF is said to have been defrauded to the tune of $1.4 million:
http://www.insurance.ca.gov/0400-news/0 ... 126-09.cfm
Employer premium fraud is a large and growing problem in California workers' comp. Here's a post I did several years ago on the topic, "It's the Employer Fraud, Stupid!":
http://workerscompzone.com/index.php?en ... 818-110358
The report on employer payroll fraud by UC Berkeley researchers Frank
Neuhauser and Colleen Donovan (prepared for CHSWC) can be accessed here:
(have an idea? a tip? you can send it to email@example.com)
Tuesday, August 18, 2009, 10:02 PM - Understanding the CA WC systemIf you're in the comp community, please complete the EAMS opinion survey.
EAMS was initially unpopular with most folks in the comp community with whom I spoke. Since the 2008 rollout, many of us have become more familiar with the system, as it's become a more routine part of our professional lives.
How do we perceive it now? This is your chance to make yourself heard.
Here's a link to the EAMS site, which contains a link to the "EAMS implementation and training tools survey":
On another note, the WCAB has denied reconsideration of its en banc decision in Lawrence Weiner vs Ralph's Company. The decision is here:
http://www.dir.ca.gov/wcab/EnBancdecisi ... 347040.pdf
The WCAB determined that Weiner had no vested right to voc rehab before the 1/1/09 expiration of the voc rehab benefit.
In case you missed it, here's a link to my blog piece on the initial Weiner en banc decision, titled "Sayonara":
http://workerscompzone.com/index.php?en ... 611-215416
Stay tuned. I'll be continuing to reflect on the national healthcare debate, which has important overtones for workers comp.
Saturday, August 15, 2009, 09:09 AM - Political developmentsOn occasional hot, smoggy days, Bay Area mass transit is free. It's part of the air pollution district's Spare the Air strategy.
I recall riding BART from Oakland to San Francisco last year on a free day.
There were many more riders than I was accustomed to seeing. Any many of them looked poor and disheveled. Clearly the prospect of free transit brought out folks from the margins who otherwise would not have been traveling. Many of us who are used to doing what we want to do when we want to do it find it hard to identify with the daily dilemmas many folks face.
This week we saw the same phenomenon in Los Angeles, albeit in another context. The LA Forum in Inglewood was used as a mass free healthcare
site. Huge crowds showed up to receive free medical care from the Remote Area Medical Foundation:
http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/lanow/2 ... d-day.html
I'd bet my bottom dollar that a bunch of injured workers who had lost their health insurance were among the crowds trying to get into that Inglewood event.
The LA Times piece makes the point that this event was held in a county where more than 20% of working adults have no health insurance. That's a massive amount of people. But they're not the folks who are showing up at town halls or calling in on talk radio to excoriate Obamacare.
Opponents of health care reform have vilified the British system (along with the Canadian system).
But the Brits are now fighting back.....
Check out "The Brutal Truth About America's Healthcare" in The Independent, an English newspaper:
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world ... 72580.html
Stay tuned. And kudos to the Remote Area Medical Foundation for all their good work:
(you can subscribe by using the RSS reader buttons on the lower right column under "Most Recent Entries")