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Washington's Intitative 1082


Phelix

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I'm torn on this issue. On the one hand, Washington currently has a two way workers compensation insurance system: the State has a worker's comp pool that most businesses are part of, and some large industries are allowed to pool together and self-insure. This allows the state to set the rates that workers are insured at, guaranteeing that the workers receive a fair rate and that as Cost of Living increases, so does Workers Comp. On the other hand, I-1082 wouldn't change much of that, only it would allow private insurers to come in and offer the same service to companies and workers.

 

Those private companies would directly compete with the State for business, and would eventually put pressure on the state to decrease the rates workers comp pays out... which would be bad for the worker in the long term, assuming the worker needs their compensation because they were injured on the job or as a result of their work.

 

In the short term, it would mean less money being deducted from each check, which means more money the worker can spend on their daily needs.

 

So, it's a gamble. Spend less money now, and get less money if you do get hurt; or spend more money now, knowing if you do get hurt you'll be better supported.

 

I'm not sure which way to vote on this. Part of me says that it's only right to allow individuals to decide how to spend their money, so allowing private insurers to drive down the workers comp costs is a good thing. The other part of me says that people will always take more money now, and not plan for the future, so forcing them to sock away money is a good thing.

 

Anyone out there have thoughts to share?

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