McKenna’s Workers’ Compensation Plan: Pay Private Insurance Companies, Leave Workers Behind

Message flagged Sunday, April 22, 2012 3:32 PM

For Immediate Release:

April 19, 2012

Contact: Benton Strong


McKenna’s Workers’ Compensation Plan: Pay Private Insurance Companies, Leave Workers Behind

Seattle — Today, the Washington State Democrats are releasing “Fraud,” a video showing the dangers of Rob McKenna’s plan to privatize workers’ compensation insurance. In 2010, nearly 60 percent of voters in Washington State rejected an initiative which would have allowed private insurance companies like AIG to reap profits from the state’s workers comp program. Rob McKenna’s plan would do the same, leaving workers at the mercy of his friends in the insurance industry.

“We rejected this idea two years ago because it hurts small business like the one I started with my partner 10 years ago,” said Deb Schaack, Business Manager of Central Physical Therapy and Fitness, in Seattle. “The current workers’ comp program in Washington stresses getting people back to work quickly and prioritizes health over profit, something we value strongly. When private insurance companies prioritize profit, businesses and injured workers lose out.”

McKenna has repeatedly said he wants to introduce “competition” into our worker’s compensation program, which is politi-speak for allowing private insurance companies to come in and maximize their profits. This is yet another issue where McKenna stands against the will of the voters, and it could cost small businesses up to $315 million each year in increased premiums for small businesses. McKenna’s talking points on the issue line up with those of the supporters of I-1082, calling the state’s system a “monopoly,” even as many call it great for workers in Washington State. It is no surprise McKenna has taken over $150,000 from private insurance companies for his campaigns.

Watch the video


McKenna: “State Monopoly for Workers Compensation Will End When I’m Governor.” During his New Direction breakfast, McKenna said, “Workers compensation rates – we’re only one of four states in America that allows no competition. The state monopoly for workers compensation insurance will end when I’m Governor.” [McKenna, New Direction Breakfast, 11/8/11]

McKenna: “We Need to Open Up” Workers’ Compensation System to Competition–To Break the State Monopoly.” At a Master Builders of Olympia event, McKenna state, “We’re one of only four states in the country that still monopolizes workers’ compensation insurance, that doesn’t permit competition. Monopolies are bad. I find it truly incredibly ironic that as the state’s top anti-trust enforcer — I’m chief competition officer — the biggest monopolies in the state are my clients. We need to open up L&I to competition…I don’t care how it’s done, I just know we need competition to break the state monopoly.” [McKenna, Master Builders of Olympia, 2/7/12]

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