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Workers' Comp Reform Ignores the Real Issues

September 18, 2003

I believe that the definitions of "sweeping" and "reform" need to be revisited by the writers of "Legislature OKs Workers' Comp Reform" (Sept. 13). Reading the story, one might be led to believe that the workers' comp crisis is at an end.

SB 228, though a start, is far from sweeping and, in fact, ignores some of the issues most in need of reform: stiffening penalties for workers' comp fraud, clarifying the definition and guidelines for permanent disability, putting restrictions on personal injury lawyers turning minor clerical errors into huge judgments. A start, yes; sweeping, no; Band-Aid, maybe; reform, no. For those of us hoping for real relief, we are still waiting.

Tom Pula

Sunland

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The Times knows how to write the party line, e.g., "rolling back costs that have squeezed businesses." How about: abandoning 100,000 disabled workers who do not have a clue as to how to find a new career that will accommodate their disability?

If workers' compensation is making California noncompetitive for businesses, where is the table comparing workers' comp benefits in California to other states'? California workers' compensation benefits are comparable to other major labor markets. What's different is the behavior of the doctors and lawyers. There is just more fraud in California. The legislators tried to kill a fly with a jackhammer, and the fly is still buzzing around while a perfectly good infrastructure got destroyed.

Bill Adams

Topanga

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