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Bill to Reform Workers' Comp

August 18, 1992

I am writing in response to your editorial ("Cutting a Disgrace Down to Size," Aug. 10) referring to Assemblyman Burt Margolin's (D-Los Angeles) "ambitious reform" measure of the destructive workers' comp system.

Everyone agrees that the system is a disgrace and out of control, causing many jobs to be lost. Businesses are closing down for good or leaving the state due to these escalating costs, taking their opportunities for California's work force and fragile economy with them.

Employers do not agree, however, as you suggest, that Margolin's special session legislation is "an ambitious attempt to reduce fraud, abuse and legal and medical overcharges." In fact, employers do not support AB 51X because it includes watered-down, flawed reforms that will not significantly reduce claim costs and claim frequency. AB 51X only has the appearance of reforming the workers' comp system.

Let's not forget that the Legislature's "important effort" for comprehensive reform in 1989 has done nothing but drive the costs for workers' compensation up--up to the $11.5 billion nightmare we are now experiencing.

Time is running out for this legislative session. We will agree that the current system is in need of major reform, but don't we owe it to our economy to do it right this time?

ED MANGIAFICO, Chairman, Board of Directors, Californians for Compensation Reform, Sacramento

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