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Business Groups Oppose Federal Bill to Study State Workers' Comp Laws

A bill (H.R. 635) introduced in the House would establish a national commission to study and evaluate the adequacy of state workers' compensation laws and...
May 19, 2009

A bill (H.R. 635) introduced in the House would establish a national commission to study and evaluate the adequacy of state workers' compensation laws and report back to Congress its findings and recommendations. The "National Commission on State Workers' Compensation Laws Act of 2009" was introduced by Rep. Joe Baca (D-Ca.). It has two co-sponsors and has been referred to the House Committee on Education and Labor.

A broad coalition of pro-business groups is forming to oppose H.R. 635. Among their points is that the performance of state-based workers' compensation systems is the responsibility of the states and their respective legislatures and stakeholders, not Congress; that there is no need for a new national study; that the imposition of federal oversight and development of federal mandates is inconsistent with the state workers' compensation system; and that this bill would drastically increase costs for every employer.

What It Means to Agents: The potential for unintended consequences with H.R. 635 is significant and there seems to be no real reason for this bill. It appears from reading this bill that the commission would be predicated on a federal intervention in the state W/C system, which is working well. This seems to be another bill that presumes that federal involvement is superior to state supervision when it comes to anything involving insurance. With everything else Congress has to do, attempting to fix something that is clearly not broken should not be a priority.

Letter to House Opposing H.R. 635 (PDF)

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