Iowa Lawmakers Target Injured Workers With Proposed Legislation

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Posted by Emily Anderson

Attention! Iowa’s Workers’ Compensation laws changed July 1, 2017. This article’s information may be out of date. Visit our Workers’ Compensation Page for more information.

Friends – there are identical bills in the Iowa House and Senate that propose extreme changes to Iowa’s workers’ compensation system. These bills go too far and need to be stopped. It will hurt injured Iowans. In fact, it will hurt the most injured among them. These bills need your attention right now – committee votes are happening today.

I have represented these injured Iowans for 8 years. This system is their lifeline, but it won’t be under this new legislation.

The reason we have workers’ compensation is because employers and employees struck a grand bargain decades ago. Employers pay for medical care and lost wages if an injured worker gets hurt on the job, through the workers’ compensation system. In exchange, workers are prohibited from suing their employers for negligence causing their injuries—forfeiting the right to a jury trial and forfeiting their right to ask for damages like pain and suffering.

Over the years, insurance companies have denied and delayed the benefits owed to injured workers: medical care and wages. THAT is why they come to me. Not for a big payout. Not to cash in a lottery ticket.

They come to me because they need help getting money to pay their light bills and mortgages.  They come to me because they need help getting quality medical care to heal.

This legislation places extreme barriers between the injured worker and the benefits they need to survive.

Workers’ compensation insurance premiums in Iowa are not too high – they are right in the middle of other states.

If you think this legislation does not affect you, you are wrong. If you are an Iowa taxpayer or if you purchase private health insurance, this legislation WILL affect you.

This legislation seeks to shift the responsibility of paying for medical care and lost wages from employers and insurance companies to private health insurance companies, and Medicare, and Medicaid, and Social Security Disability. You will foot the bill for that shift.

This extreme legislation is being rammed through without a thorough investigation and review of Iowa’s workers’ compensation system. If there are changes to be made, they should be thoughtful, they should make sense, they should be balanced. Don’t be fooled – this legislation is not a small change. These aren’t just tweaks. This legislation proposes a monumental change to our system that will hurt injured Iowans.

I would be happy to talk to anyone about this bill.  I would urge you to contact your house reps and senators today and tell them to VOTE NO to the workers’ compensation bills.

Click here to tell your legislators to VOTE NO to this legislation.

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