These two news stories come from WorkCompCentral and from J&L Risk Management Consultants. The J&L Risk Management blog says it pretty well with this quote:
Iowa Approves 7.9% Rate Increase In a Down Economy?
“NCCI recommended that Iowa increase its Workers Compensation rates by 7.9% (3% effective 01/01/13 + additional 4% on 07/01/13). Iowa subsequently approved the rate increases. This was rather surprising in such a down economy. Iowa for many years bucked the trend that a medical fee schedule is needed to keep Workers Comp costs in check.
The trend-bucking may be coming to an end very soon. I have always said states that do not have a WC fee schedule end up costing employers more than other comparable states. For some reason, Iowa stood alone in not having a medical fee schedule while keeping medical costs in check.
The bell may be tolling for Workers Comp medical costs in Iowa. Up until 6 months ago, Iowa was still defying the medical fee schedule = lower Workers Comp costs scenario.”
Doctors aren’t going to like that position, but sooner or later it will be part of the Iowa workers' compensation scheme.
As for the Godrey’s lawsuit, it’s an ugly situation between the Governor’s Office overreaching politically and Godfrey doing what the law allows. But, in this instance the lawsuit Godfrey filed isn't going to fly. Sorry, but I don't agree with the legal theories being advanced. In all states there is a legal concept named sovereign immunity, meaning “The King Can Do No Wrong”, and it’s the basis of the Judge’s decision. You can’t sue the King of England, in this case the State of Iowa, unless he/it says you can. In this instance the State of Iowa didn’t waive its right to libel and slander its citizens without being held financially accountable. In other words, it can't be sued for defamation because it never set-aside sovereign immunity; like it or not that's the law. Godfrey should have taken it's case to the press and public pointing out that paybacks in the future would lead to gridlock at the state level, similar to what we have now in Washington. Which is a good reason this nonsense should have never started in the first place. When there is a Democrat at Terrace Hill and a Republican styled Commissioner, will be subjected to this same nonsense? This makes zero sense to me when Iowa's unemployment rate is so low to begin with.
- Iowa Approves 7.9% Rate Increase in a Down Economy - WorkCompCentral - The National Council on Compensation Insurance (NCCI) recommended that Iowa increase its workers compensation rates by 7.9%.
- Iowa Approves 7.9% Rate Increase In a Down Economy? - Workers ... - NCCI recommended that Iowa increase its Workers Compensation rates by 7.9% (3% effective 01/01/13 + additional 4% on 07/01/13).
- Iowa Commissioner Approves Workers' Comp Rate Hikes - Insurance Journal - Iowa's top insurance regulator has approved a rate filing that increases workers' compensation premium rates in that state beginning Jan. 1, 2013.
Commissioner Godfrey lost his suit against Iowa’s Governor, Terry Branstad.
- State blocks defamation suit - DesMoinesRegister.com - Iowa's workers' compensation commissioner has been blocked from suing Gov. Terry Branstad and some of his staff for defamation in an unusual legal action.