Workers' Compensation

In June, the Supreme Court ruled to uphold the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. However, with the full implementation of the law looming, what does this mean for theworkers’ compensation system in Pittsburgh and across the country? One person experienced in workers’ compensation believes the law will lead the system closer to becoming federalized.

Right now, workers’ compensation is handled and enacted by the states. This can mean different things for different states because some states tend to be more employer-friendly while others friendlier toward workers. Other states are perceived as “self- friendly” by placing the needs of the state above both employer and employee. While many people have opinions about which way may be best, the answer about the effect of PPACA really depends on one’s point of view.

Some aspects of the act could be positive, such as the rule that covering more people through health insurance could potentially reduce fraudulent claims. While this could certainly be helpful, it could come at too high of a cost, some say, and prevent business owners from running the company according to its own needs, instead of the government’s.

For now, Pittsburgh workers’ compensation will stay the same. Once the new law is fully implemented, however, there could very well be major changes to the system. For now, the states will stay in control of the laws and the compensation system. It will be interesting to see what kind of effect the Affordable Care Act has on workers’ compensation.

Source: Forbes, “Will Workers’ Compensation Survive Obamacare?” Cheryl Conner, July 15, 2012