Insurers Urge S.C. Senate to Accept House Version of Workers’ Comp Bill

May 17, 2007

The South Carolina House of Representatives unanimously approved a workers’ compensation reform measure that is stronger than the version passed last month by the Senate, according to the American Insurance Association. The vote now sets up a showdown with the Senate in the final days of the 2007 legislative session.

“AIA is pleased with the House’s vote for a more comprehensive version of workers’ compensation reform,” said Raymond G. Farmer, AIA assistant vice president, Southeast Region. “We believe it moves us closer to the goal of fixing what has become a dysfunctional system for employers and insurers. We urge the Senate to follow the House’s lead and support the bill approved yesterday.”

The House version includes additional provisions that would return certainty and stability to the workers’ compensation system; for example, it addresses troublesome state court decisions, provides a definition for “repetitive trauma,” and eliminates a legal presumption of total and permanent disability when a worker suffers a 50 percent or greater loss of the use of his or her back.

One key reform supported by AIA that the bill does not include is objective standards (i.e. AMA Guidelines) for use in determining awards.

Source: American Insurance Association

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