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America's Workman Compensation: The Nation's Good Samaritan?
by Leah Sellers
2008-01-05 09:46:30
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The Good Samaritan is a metaphor and story that warmly resonates within the hearts and minds of most Americans. What have I learned this past year about the concept of the Good Samaritan within our present Workman's Compensation system? That it is almost non-existent.

After being injured by one of my high school students in February 2007, I have had the unfortunate displeasure of struggling through the morass of WC's litigious barriers, actions and non-actions, preventing me from receiving the expedient and humane return of the good health and active life that I had enjoyed before my injury at work. I have experienced the gradual removal of my constitutional rights to the pursuit of Life, Liberty and Property.

Life and Liberty, as I knew it before my student injured me, as a teacher, artist, singer, Interplay performer, volunteer with troubled and handicapped youth in equine programs, horseback rider, hiker, kayaker and biker, have been striped from me. I am imprisoned with a chronically pain ridden and crippled body. I painfully shuffle through each day like Quasi Modo, the Hunchback of Notre Dame, lucky to successfully dress and tie my shoes (much less ring any tower bells). Heaven forbid that I drop something on the ground and have to pick it up. That always sends my family into sympathetic mirth.

Since 1990, my pursuit of Property (and every other injured worker's) has been badly damaged by the Texas legislature's tort reforms regarding the WC system. In general, they have progressively (or is that regressively) whittled away at WC's medical and income benefits for injured workers. The tort reforms also made teachers "seasonal workers". As a result, I have been refused income benefits (while fighting for proper medical care) over the three months of summer (when I usually attended required Continued Education workshops), and the two weeks of Christmas holiday break. I understand that I can also look forward to losing my rent, utility, vehicle, and grocery monies during the week of Spring Break as well.

I don't know about you, but I don't know of many people who can afford to lose four months of income and not be made homeless. I am a single female, which makes my future and its prospects even more daunting and foreboding.

All I have ever wanted and needed since my student injured me in February of 2007 is the quick and reasonable return of my health and active life. Instead, I have been thwarted every step of the way by WC's delays, denials, and refusals. It does not matter to WC or the insurance lawyers, lobbyists and Texas legislators that I (and a multitude of others) continue to suffer at the Hands of WC's corrupted and dysfunctional system. Insurance companies are more interested in saving money for their wealthy and politically powerful owners and investors. They do not care about the pain, suffering and broken lives born by others who exhaustively struggle with the WC system for proper medical care.

No one can fully pursue the constitutional rights of Life, Liberty, and Property when their health has been taken away from them. No One.

I have also discovered that most doctors no longer want to deal with WC patients because of the copious amounts of paperwork forced upon them and their medical staff for every prescription, treatment or procedure involved with the healing of their patients. Doctors also have to worry about being paid for their efforts while struggling through the paperwork trail of systematic insurance refusals, denials, and delays. Doctor's are reticent to champion the best care and best interests of Workman's Comp patients because of the time consumption and exhaustive efforts involved with struggling with the WC system. Insurance companies, in general, have forced clinics and hospitals to hire extra staff members just to handle the insurance companies' labyrinth of rules, regulations, laws and paperwork demands and mandates. Where might that money be better spent? Perhaps toward direct patient care? Now, that's an original and meaningful idea.

In my experience, the Workman's Comp system is no longer medically or patient based. The needs of the patient have become almost superfluous to the bottom line. The needs of the insurance companies' owners and investors are tantamount to proper, just and expedient patient care.

Why do American's continue to allow our corrupted and dysfunctional medical systems to exist? As thinking, and supposedly enlightened, citizens we need to come together in calm, collective thoughtfulness to humanely and justly deliberate the recreation and restructuring of our nation's medical systems and insurance systems. Free enterprise does not have to become legalized greed. Greed serves no constructive purpose within our medical and healing institutions and practices.

We are what we think and create. Why are we choosing to create and sustain these kinds of systems? Why are we choosing to create and maintain this kind of national identity? What has become of our Good Samaritan?

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Donna Marie2008-01-06 00:04:31
Keep up the good work getting it out to the world just what the Workmens Comp system doesn't do for people who have already paid into it.
Donna Marie

judy eichstedt2008-01-06 22:08:08
it is all about greed. i agree with you. very very good.

bold2008-06-07 18:09:56
Dear sir or madam

I m writing to introduce our compamy activity in Mongolia

Our company has sent Mongolian workers to abroad, such as korea, japan ect

Officially for improving their living standart.

Therefore, we hope that, you should cooperate with our company.

We would appreciate your prompt reply.

Respectfully yours

Anri co ltd

Jen White2008-08-15 06:15:56
I am so glad I'm not the only who thinks the system is flawed. It's all a money ring and it's at the cost of the injured.

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