Law firm sees workers' comp attack on three fronts
Three House bills on workers' compensation reform are misguided and will ultimately further complicate an already confused system, a Chicago law firm said recently.
In a "law update" posted on April 17, Keefe, Campbell, Biery & Associates pointed out what the law firm sees as the problem with each bill.
"All three bills are premised on the belief Illinois' workers' compensation problems are due to the 'profit-rich' workers’ comp insurance industry," the firm said.
House Bill 2622, sponsored by Rep. Laura Fine (D-Glenview), seeks to establish a non-profit, taxpayer-capitalized mutual insurance company to offer an alternative to the private insurance options. The firm criticized this approach for placing blame for the system's current issues on for-profit operators, arguing that many of Illinois’ bordering states have gotten ride of state-run insurance funds and carriers.
Rep. Jay Hoffman (D-Swansea) is sponsoring House Bill 2525, which Keefe, Campbell, Biery and Associates characterizes as the same bill passed in the Illinois House in January during a lame duck session for the previous assembly. The bill would enact several changes to the system that the firm calls anti-business and anti-local government, like requiring prior approval for workers’ compensation rates and more reporting for self-insurers.
The last bill, House Bill 2703, is also sponsored by Hoffman and would eliminate some of the protections private and public self-insured employers have in relation to the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). Under Hoffman’s proposal, they copying and inspection of proprietary information and records related to self-insurance pools would be subject to FOIAs, as would claims, risk management information, data advice and communications.
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