mykeystrokes.com

"Do or Do not. There is no try."

“The Princely CEO’s Of Corporate Larceny”: Scurrilous Corporate Thieves Are Stealing Workers’ Comp

They say there’s honor among thieves, but I say: That depends on the thieves.

Your common street thief, yes — but not those princely CEOs of corporate larceny. America’s working families have learned the elites in the top suites are rewarded for being pickpockets, swindlers, thugs, and scoundrels, routinely committing mass economic violence against the majority of America’s working people to further enrich and empower themselves.

But now comes a cabal of about two-dozen corporate chieftains pushing a vicious new campaign of physical violence against workers. The infamous anti-labor bully, Walmart, is among the leaders, but so are such prestigious chains as Macy’s and Nordstrom, along with Lowe’s, Kohl’s, and Safeway. Their goal is to gut our nation’s workers’ compensation program, freeing corporate giants to injure or even kill employees in the workplace without having to cover all (or, in many cases, any) of the lost wages, medical care, or burial expenses of those harmed.

Started more than 100 years ago, workers’ comp insurance is one of our society’s most fundamental contracts between injured employees who give up the right to sue their companies for negligence when injured on the job and employers who pay for insurance to cover a basic level of medical benefits and wages for those harmed. Administered by state governments, benefits vary, and they usually fall far short of meeting the full needs of the injured people. But the program has at least provided an important measure of help and a bit of fairness to assuage the suffering of millions.

But even that’s too much for the avaricious thieves atop these multi-billion-dollar corporations. Why pay for insuring employees when it’s much cheaper just to buy state legislators who are willing to privatize workers’ comp? This lets corporations write their own rules of compensation to slash benefits, cut safety costs — and earn thieving CEOs bigger bonuses.

But who, you might ask, would help these corporate crooks in their callous and calculating scheme to rob workers of their hard-earned benefits? Why, that would be the work of ARAWC — the Association for Responsible Alternatives to Workers’ Compensation.

When you come across a corporate lobbying group claiming to be pushing “Responsible Alternatives to Such-and-Such,” you can rightly assume that it’s really pushing something totally irresponsible, as well as malicious, shameless, self-serving and even disgusting. Mother Jones magazine reports that ARAWC is a front group funded by these hugely profitable retail chains and corporate behemoths that want to weasel out of compensating employees who suffer injuries at work. By law, corporations in nearly every state must carry workers’ comp insurance, but the ARAWC lobbying combine is pressuring legislators to allow the giants to opt out of the state benefit plans and instead substitute their own, highly restrictive set of benefits.

What a deal! But it’s a raw deal for injured workers. In Texas, which already has this write-it-yourself loophole, more than half of the corporate plans — get this — pay nothing to the families of workers who’re killed in job accidents! Similarly, under an ARAWC-written opt-out provision that a Tennessee senator sponsored this year, employers wouldn’t have to cover artificial limbs, home care or even funeral expenses of on-the-job accident victims.

Also, the Tennessee bill lets a company simply walk away from maimed workers after just three years or after paying only $300,000 in expenses. Corporations always claim to “value” their employees — and this tells us exactly how little that value is.

By the way, the CEO of ARAWC also happens to be the head of “risk management” at the mingiest of workplaces: Walmart. And that’s what this opt-out scam amounts to — corporate profiteers hoping they can manage to escape paying for risking the lives of America’s workforce. Yes, this shifty move is a scurrilous crime, but it’s a crime that pays richly for those at the top. And the money can fill the hole in their souls where their honor used to be.

 

By: Jim Hightower, The National Memo, April 15, 2015

April 16, 2015 Posted by | CEO'S, Corporations, Workers | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

“The Education Of Scott Brown”: A Slowly Dawning Lesson, Running Against An Abstraction Is Easy

Less than two years after losing his re-election bid in his home state, former Sen. Scott Brown (R-Mass.) is apparently trying again, this time running in New Hampshire – where’s he still learning quite a bit.

It’s not altogether clear why Brown is running in the Granite State, but his strategy has nevertheless taken shape: the Republican intends to hit the campaign trail complaining about the Affordable Care Act. It worked in one state in 2010, Brown figures, so maybe it’ll work in a different state in 2014.

With this in mind, Brown visited with state Rep. Herb Richardson (R-N.H.) and his wife over the weekend at the lawmaker’s home, where the Senate candidate called the ACA a “monstrosity.” Sam Stein flagged an account of the meeting from the local newspaper (pdf):

Richardson was injured on the job and was forced to live on his workers’ comp payments for an extended period of time, which ultimately cost the couple their house on Williams Street. The couple had to pay $1,100 a month if they wanted to maintain their health insurance coverage under the federal COBRA law.

Richardson said he only received some $2,000 a month in workers’ comp. payments, however, leaving little for them to live on. “Thank God for Obamacare!” his wife exclaimed.

Now, thanks to the subsidy for which they qualify, the Richardsons only pay $136 a month for health insurance that covers them both.

The state lawmaker added that the health care law, which Brown claims to abhor, has been a “financial lifesaver” for his family.

According to the local reporter, the former senator listened to the Richardsons’ perspective and then changed the subject.

Running against an abstraction is easy; running against a law that’s currently benefiting millions of families nationwide is a little trickier. That may slowly be dawning on Brown right about now.

Speaking of New Hampshire, Stein also had this report out of the Granite State the other day.

The former chair of the New Hampshire Republican Party will save $1,000 a month in premiums for his family’s health care package after signing up for a new policy through the Obamacare exchange.

But Fergus Cullen said the savings aren’t enough to turn him into a supporter of the new health care law.

Apparently, Cullen’s catastrophic-coverage plan was phased out under ACA guidelines, which forced the former state GOP chair to transition to a new plan – with no annual or lifetime caps, and which can’t be taken away if Cullen gets stick – that will save the Republican and his family $12,000 a year in premiums.

For his part, Cullen, concerned about out-of-pocket costs, says he still prefers his old plan and wrote about his experience in the Union Leader, acknowledging the trade-offs.

 

By: Steve Benen, The Maddow Blog, March 20, 2014

March 21, 2014 Posted by | Affordable Care Act, Scott Brown | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

   

%d bloggers like this: