Cost Shifting, the ACA, and Workers’ Comp

Today’s post was shared by WC CompNewsNetwork and comes from

In September, the Workers’ Compensation Research Institute (WCRI) issued an intriguing report titled Will the Affordable Care Act Shift Claims to Workers’ Compensation Payors? As most WCRI reports, this one is dense, packed with data and conclusions; more tables and charts than one could hope. After reading it, I concluded that the report is misnamed, and should perhaps have been How Much Will the Affordable Care Act Shift Claims to Workers’ Compensation Payors?

I find the study compelling. As I read the Introduction and Summary of Findings, I began to think of Captain Renault in Casablanca. In a classic scene, he sits at a table gambling. A raid occurs and as the other officials enter, he exclaims “I am shocked, shocked to find gambling is going on in here.” Perhaps the WCRI report is not telling us something we did not know, but is merely making it more widely known?

The report supports that there will be cost shifting in the delivery of medical care. This will be an inevitable outcome of a few simple truths carefully laid out in the Introduction and Summary of Findings. First, health insurers exist to make money. Pause here and catch your breath while you wrap your head around that one. Before you get too distracted by that, let me just assure you that all car producers, software companies, dating apps, sports teams, and purveyors of fine or fast foods likewise exist to make money. It is capitalism, which in the near term may remain a driving…

[Click here to see the rest of this post]