Comment of the week goes to…

Comment of the Week goes to… - Feb 14, 2014 | Insurance Business

IBA readers whipped themselves into a frenzy this week over an opinion piece penned by Safety National’s Tom Hebson.

Hebson claimed provisions in the Affordable Care Act “could greatly impact the delivery of healthcare in the workers’ compensation market,” with a doctor shortage causing injured workers to wait longer for much needed immediate and ongoing care.

Furthermore, “if the ACA results in higher cost plans, larger deductibles and limited doctor and healthcare providers, workers could stray out of the system and into the workers’ compensation realm,” Hebson wrote.

Though Hebson conceded that the ACA’s impact on workers’ comp would likely take years to unravel, a few of our readers had immediate opinions.

Leading one camp, reader Lost Wages Joe wrote:

…this post is misleading. The author conflates the unrelated issues of a pending shortage of physicians and an aging population, with the slow rollout and employer requirements of the ACA.

Assuming that the author's concerns about a dwindling number of physicans are warranted, what is needed are programs to encourage and enable more people to enter the medical field. As for the ACA, what is needed is time to iron-out the bugs, and an end to partisan attemts to sabotage the program.

An Informed Agent took the opposite stance, drawing on personal experience in the workers’ compensation market. This reader wrote:

what planet do you guys live on? we see work comp abuse everyday here in the trenches, and the trend towards higher deductibles and out of pocket medical cost sharing in ACA will create even more abusive work comp claim activity. Aca is so overwhelmingly complex, we have not even seen anywhere near the unintended consequences of aca yet, and may not for years. It took 25 years for the last governmental social program to roll out in all fifty states- medicare and medicaid. stay tuned, its gonna get interesting.

We appreciate the seasoned debate here at IBA, and thank all our readers who took the time to comment this week!