I like reading my friend Julius Young's excellent blog about California
Worker's Compensation issues. I find it to be balanced (not in the
Fox News way) and always informative. Today, his entry
Take a Shower (because you’ll feel dirty after reading about it) covered the Los
Angeles County District Attorney's unsealing of the indictment against
a physician and others on multiple counts of workers' compensation fraud.
Whenever I read about these alleged schemes, I always think two things: greed knows no boundaries, and how are political opportunists going to
use a story like this to ram another reformulation of the
workers' compensation system through the legislature to the detriment of legitimately injured workers?
What about all the other illegal schemes that don't get much attention
in the press (or with legislative members) that also do severe damage
to workers’ compensation, like those that help insurance companies
abscond with millions of dollars from employers?
Shouldn't they get cleaned up too?
Take, for example, the
August 7, 2015 story in the Insurance Journal about how the 75th largest company in the world
hatched a scheme to rip off employers with so called "side agreements",
which included the following quote:
"Jeff Pettegrew, the former head of the California Self Insurers’
Security Fund and someone who is familiar with these types of workers’
comp agreements, said the ruling maybe a “wake up” call for
other insurers that use these agreements and that it has the potential
to put millions of dollars back into the pockets of businesses.
“We’re talking about millions and millions of dollars that
have been absconded by insurance companies,” said Pettegrew, who
is now the chief imagination officer with Insurance Thought Leadership,
a digital provider of information on insurance subjects."
Absconded? Now there is a polite term for a dirty act committed against
employers of this State. The story went on to say:
"The attorney who represented Country Villa, believes the case will
have a long-lasting impact on how side agreements are handled in California.
“This now has huge repercussions that says to all policyholders in
California: ‘Those programs were illegal,'” said Nicholas
P. Roxborough, a partner in Roxborough Pomerance Nye & Adreani in
Woodland Hills, Calif."
Dirty schemes are dirty schemes. In future reforms, let’s make sure
the legislature deals with all the dirty players - because the system
will remain dysfunctional until they do.