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Sunday, February 17, 2013

The Missouri Compromise - 2013

It looks like Missouri is not going to ditch their Second Injury Fund (SIF) after all. The Missouri Senate did a turn around and passed legislation to fund the insolvent SIF.

Part of the compromise was to limit liability of occupational disease claims against employers and re-establish the exclusivity bar. Albiet, the SIF would provide additional monetary benefits to those exposed at work.

While it sounds nice on paper, the problem, of using a band-aide to permanently correct the overall concerns of both Industry and Labor, will not work in the long-run. Actually this has been tried before and already failed. Employers notoriously dodge the bullet and delay and deny occupational claims even though they are difficult to defend against.

When the going gets tough, down the road, Industry will end up further restricting the benefit flow to injured workers, and medical delivery will then remain non-existent. Consequentially, the end result is that the general taxpayer and not the consumer, ends up paying for the continued unsafe work practices of Industry.

The Missouri Compromise 2013 is only a first step in recognizing a problem exists. It demonstrates that legislators from different parties can reach a compromise. The real fix would be even greater OSHA enforcement of safety procedures, new Federal regulation and, a universal health care system.