In response to Dr. Richard S. Horowitz’s letter on Workers’ Compensation (BDN, May 17), I would like to cast a light on this issue. I am an injured worker under the new comp law of 1993, and believe me, there is a lot to tell.
Dr. Horowitz is trying to encourage injured workers to write to the paper. The first thing I stopped buying when I was injured and money got tight was the newspaper, so I don’t think too many injured workers read his column. The good doctor stated that injured workers are treated like criminals. This is true. However, even criminals get court-appointed lawyers, but we couldn’t if we would pay for one, let alone a public defender. Injured workers get to the formal hearing process in the system and big-shot lawyers eat them alive.
Injured workers will not voice their opinions in public because they are scared to death of what their almightly employers might do, because injured workers do not know what is right and what is a scam by the insurance company to get an injured worker to do something that is not in the law. Insurance companies change doctors’ prescriptions because they don’t agree with the treatment (or is it the price?), but not one insurance company claims adjuster whom I dealt with had a medical background at all, even though they made decisions on my medical treatment.
And yes, Dr. Horowitz was right when he said injured workers are not reporting their injuries to their employers, but reporting them to their own health insurance companies to save the hassles of the comp system and get better health care treatment. What do you think this is going to do to our personal health care premiums in a couple of years? But Maine Mutual Insurance saved how much in workers’ comp costs this year, right out of my pockets, and out of the pockets of all injured workers?
So this is the system that Augusta is so proud of. Gov. McKernan forced the lawmakers to sign this bill. If there is one bright light in this whole matter, state Sen. Alton “Chuck” Cianchette stated a few months ago that he was getting out of Augusta because he got everything in control in Augusta and now he can leave! One of. Cianchette’s victories in Augusta was the 1993 comp law. Attaboy, Chuck, the owner of Cianbro Construction Co.
Send your complaints to James McGowan, Executive Director, Workers’ Compensation Commission, State House Station 27, Augusta 04333.
The system’s motto is money before human life! Frederic D. Noblet Maine Injured Workers and Victims Bangor