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Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Government Shutdown: Day 8 - Injured Workers Are Being Held for Ransom

Now entering its 8th day, the Federal Government shutdown continues and injured workers and their families are suffering as hostages.

The Federal programs that adjudicate injured workers claims are closed. The State programs are beginning to feel the impact of the that lack of information flow from the collateral medical lien resolution process so resolution of claims are now stalled.

New Federal programs enacted under The SMART Act, to expedite the lien resolution programs have been halted in the public comment phases, and may face further delay in implementation and regulatory amendment.

The funding process for NIH grants to prevent and treat occupational disease and illnesses, as well as data collection and reporting, have been slowed if not stopped in their tracks.

While polls released today blame the GOP for the problem, no resolution is in sight. In fact the Federal debt ceiling argument may just put the US over the fiscal cliff, train-wrecking the economy, and fragile trending improvements in the US economy, including the job market and workers' compensation premium flow so essential to maintain financial liquidity.

It is a tragedy that American workers, and the century old workers' compensation system, are being held hostage in this political battle. Immediate action is necessary before the system implodes and can't be put back together again.