Sunday, April 20, 2008

Downplaying workplace accidents

(Comic is from the wonderfully twisted MarriedToTheSea.com)

This is a disturbing trend that seems to be a side-effect of the health care crisis in this country. From The Charlotte Observer:
NEW YORK --
A leading group of occupational doctors is taking the unusual step of speaking out publicly against pressure from companies to downplay workplace injuries.

To outline their concerns, the physicians have sent a letter to federal workplace safety regulators and held a conference session in New York City on Monday. They're also planning to testify before Congress.

If successful, their campaign could affect the treatment of injured workers and might help change how the government assesses workplace safety.

"Our members feel they are being methodically pressured ... to under-treat and mistreat," said Dr. Robert McLellan, president of the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine. "...This is a grave ethical concern for our members. It's a grave medical concern."
The simple fact is that with out-of-control costs for health care, and no way for many workers to get adequate health insurance, businesses are often on their own when deciding how to treat victims of on the job accidents.

If we had a comprehensive system of single-payer health care, there'd be less incentive for companies to under treat and under report work place injuries. At the very least, the workers would have access to a basic level of treatment that would be free from interference from employers.

2 comments:

Martin said...

HI, Bob,

Totally off topic, but there has been a lot of publicity about Bush coming to do a fund raiser at Kissinger's house in Kent for the repub that is running against Chris Murphy. I think it would be great to do a counter fund raiser for Chris . I have seen them do that at Daily Kos, but I don't know how to get that started. Can you help?

Thanks.
Chris from Thomaston

CT Bob said...

Chris, good suggestion.

I'm not sure how they do the counter fund-raisers over on Kos. Have you thought about mentioning it over on My Left Nutmeg? That would be a great place to start. You can post a diary and it'll get some interest.

Also if you want, shoot me an email and I'll be in touch with other suggestions.