Posts Tagged ‘Daschle’

Cavalcade of Risk, health care reform, bankrupt insurers, guns at work and more

Thursday, November 20th, 2008

Joe Paduda is hosting the post-election edition of Cavalcade of Risk. Dedicated blogger that he is, his post comes to us from Las Vegas, where he offers observations from the floor of the National Workers Comp and Disability Conference. Joe has been a roving workers comp reporter lately. His recent trip follows on the heels of his reports from the Workers Compensation Research Institute Annual Meeting, where he offered his analysis of the best presentation, along with other posts from the conference that you might want to read.
Health care reform – The health care bloggers and pundits are weighing on on the announcement that Tom Daschle has been named as Health and Human Services Secretary. Ezra Klein says that he was picked because he has the skill set to get health care plan through Congress; Jonathon Cohn talks about his likely approach, and Bob Laszewski of Health Care Policy and Marketplace Review offers his thoughts on the Daschle pick. And for those who are still on the fence about the necessity of health care reform, Sarah Rubenstein of the WSJ Health Blog reports that under PPOs, the the most common type of insurance offered by employers, health care deductibles doubled to $1,000 in 2008, according to a recent survey by Mercer.
When insurers bite the dustWhat happens to workers compensation claims when an insurance company goes bankrupt? Ronald Ryan of Michigan Workers’ Compensation Law blog discusses how this situation is handled in Michigan. State laws differ. Questions about bankrupt insurers are weighing heavily on the minds of employers and claimants lately. We’ve talked about what happens in the case of insurer insolvencies before, as well as employer bankruptcies and comp. The Insurance Information Institute provides an excellent overview of insurer insolvencies and state Guaranty Funds – a page you might want to bookmark, given the times.
Guns at work – While there likely won’t be a decision until next year, the NRA and Oklahoma employers squared off yesterday in federal appeals court in Denver on the issue of guns at work in Oklahoma. These types of laws pit the rights of gun owners against the rights of private property owners – in this case, employers – to control their own property. The Oklahoma law forbid employers the right to bar employees from keeping guns in locked cars on their property, but a district court issued a permanent injunction against the law’s enforcement on the basis that the law was preempted by employer obligations to maintain a safe workplace under the Occupational Safety and Health Act. Michael Fox of Jottings By an Employer’s Lawyer discusses yesterday’s court proceeding. He sees the potential for the law of unintended consequences to come into play in relation to the interpretation of the General Duty Clause of the Occupational Safety and Health Act, which could increase exposure to OSHA violations for other employers. For more, see our background on this case as the issue evolved.
Safety sensitive employees – When it comes to safety, can you require physicals of all employees? Attorney Lindsay Harris offers tips on periodic medical exams for safety-sensitive positions HR Daily Advisor.