I’m not a very political person. I believe in workers’ rights which is probably a more democratic principal, but I’m also in favor of lower taxes which is probably a more republican issue. I try to evaluate every scenario for what it’s worth, but don’t get involved politically because it’s not my thing and I think both parties tend to not be great.
That said, our new Governor has been hinting at more workers’ compensation "reform" since he’s been in office. I put reform in quotes because it’s just a marketing word. What it really means is that they want to screw workers.
If you think I’m exaggerating, read this article, http://www.npr.org/2015/03/04/390441655/injured-workers-suffer-as-reforms-limit-workers-compensation-benefits.
The nuts and bolts of it are that in many states, workers’ compensation rights are being taken away and injured workers are finding themselves homeless. Ironically this legislation is usually pushed by republicans, but what ends up happening is that taxpayers foot the bill for medical care that isn’t approved.
In one example, a man had his hand amputated from a work injury. Modern medicine has created incredible technology and his treating doctor felt that he’d be a great candidate for a prosthetic hand that looks and works like a real hand. Sounds like a no-brainer that this would be approved, right? Wrong. A doctor in another state said the new technology wasn’t needed and recommended a cheaper, clunky metal hand that did not have the same functionality.
In other examples, there are some states where if you don’t get better in a certain amount of time, that’s too bad. Your case is closed. Can’t work? You’ll probably be homeless.
Some of these "reforms" are already happening in Illinois. Right now your treating doctor can recommend medical treatment for you. But if the insurance company wants a doctor to review your records, they can. If that doctor says your treatment isn’t needed, your medical care can be denied and the only way to get it is by going to a trial. This is called utilization review and it’s shocking that we play with people’s health this way.
Often these doctors are actually retired or retiring medical professionals who make a ton of money by writing these bogus reports. They of course have a motivation to screw you over because if they don’t say what the insurance company wants to hear, they’ll stop getting cases.
It sounds ridiculous because it is ridiculous, but it happens all of the time in Illinois and in other states.
Insurance rates have dropped dramatically in Illinois and insurance company profits are at an all time high. But they want more and businesses want to pay even less. If the Chamber of Commerce and Governor Rauner had their way, the system would change so that no matter what you are earning, your benefits would be capped at something near the poverty line and they’d make decisions of these "independent" doctors final over a doctor that sees you in person.
For them, it’s not personal, it’s just business. And if you lose your quality of life, well that’s your business, not theirs. So you should be afraid.