The 44th District Senator said he does not like the fact that House Bill 1698 pits the business community against the medical and healthcare provider communities.
“It protects business, but it does so at the expense of physicians. It doesn’t protect physicians, in fact it targets them, and it doesn’t protect the physician/patient relationship,” Senator Brady said. “I’m voting for this measure today, but I am also going on record that this legislation treats our medical community unfairly and we must do something about that.”
House Bill 1698 addresses such issues as preventing an employee from getting workers’ comp benefits if the employee’s use of drugs or alcohol caused the injury, and limiting “wage differential” payments to expected work life instead of having a lifetime benefit when the employee would not be working for his or her entire lifetime.
However, a key issue that remains unresolved, Senator Brady said, is “causation.” Currently there is no requirement that a workers’ compensation injury or illness be directly related to the workplace. Senate Republicans wanted to require a connection between the workplace and the injury or illness for which an employee is being compensated.
House Bill 1698 also limits carpal tunnel recoveries, and states that utilization review and provider networks will be available to employers to assist in controlling costs.
“Decisions by the Blagojevich and Quinn administrations have the past few years have thrown quite a few hurdles into the path of businesses,” Senator Brady said. “I have been working for several years to change our workers’ compensation system and am pleased that some progress is being made. This action is a step in the right direction to making Illinois a viable place to invest and work again, and I will continue to work toward a system that treats all fairly.”
House Bill 1698 now returns to the House of concurrence with changes made to it in the Senate.