A recent analysis of states choosing to opt out of providing worker's compensation coverage to injured workers reveals a huge shift in company policy and a significant detriment to injured workers. Texas is leading the way in the movement, led by attorney Bill Minick who created the idea many years ago. Minick and his company, PartnerSource, provides corporate companies with substitute plans for injured workers and allows them to forego state worker's compensation law. While Minick and his corporate clients insist this is a "better way" to provide for workers as it cuts out the costs involved in going through a state system, these substitute plans universally benefit the company and place the employees in impossible situations without receiving the medical care they need.
I asked Attorney Lombardi what he thought of this system and here is what he said.
"This has been tried before and is what the Indians do with casino workers who work at the Reservation casinos across America. The workers get ripped off in a system that is designed to frustrate them and the filing of claims. Those funding the system pick the judges who then delay and decay the system along with a hand-picked adminstration - which ends up being no system at all. In the end no worker finds justice and gives up. Families that need food on the table go hungry and end up on state assitance programs. It is a charade run by special interest groups. As for Texas, this is nothing new, they have scraped the bottom of the barrel attracting bad doctors with high malpractice error rates with the laws protecting doctors at all costs. Good luck living in Texas, we should allow them to cede to Mexico. My advice is if you live in Texas get your medical care in Oklahoma, Arkansas, Louisiana or New Mexico. Get your medical care outside of Texas, because, if the surgeon makes a mistake causing you a catastrophic injury at least you can sue the bastard. In Texas they laugh at you and dismis your case. Maybe the Indians and the Texans deserve each other.
Attorney Steve Lombardi
Employees are bound by stringent requirements, such as reporting the injury either within 24 hours or sometimes by the end of their shift - if they fail to do so, they are out of luck altogether and have to self-fund any medical care they may need for an otherwise legitimate work injury. These plans also force employees to accept a settlement offer and they cover much fewer injuries than is required under worker's compensation. The plans even violate the laws, but regulators say there is nothing they can do. More and more states are leaning toward implementing similar plans that save the company money and force the worker to bear the burden of what should be covered by state worker's compensation laws.