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September 11, 2003 4:39 AM
Workers’ Compensation News - September 11, 2003 Volume 1 Issue 25

PROPERTY & CASUALTY INSURERS' CAPITAL GAINS SURGE 181% in 1st Q 03
The nation's property and casualty insurers reported capital gains of $1.1 billion in the first quarter of 2003, representing a $725 million, or 181 percent, increase over the $400 million recorded during the same period last year, according to Weiss Ratings, Inc., the nation's leading independent provider of ratings and analyses of financial services companies, mutual funds, and stocks. Companies within the Berkshire-Hathaway group accounted for 62.8 percent of the industry's total first-quarter capital gains, earning $706.9 million.
http://www.weissratings.com/News/Latest/

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IHC: Integrated Health Care
24-Hour Coverage: The Oregon Pilot Joseph, RE, 9 FORC Quarterly 4 (Dec. 1997)
http://www.forc.org/journal/winter97/article1.htm

Health Insurance Cost Rose 13.9%, Survey Of Companies Finds
http://www.wsj.com

Company Health Plans Try to Drop Families
Employees With Spouses, Kids Face Surcharges As Employers Search for New Cost Controls
http://www.wsj.com

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CALIFORNIA
Arnold plans to fix the workers compensation program in the state.
http://www.joinarnold.com/en/agenda/#A

Workers' comp panel stalled
A special legislature committee scrambled Friday (9.5.03) to reach an accord over cutting medical costs from California's $29 billion workers' compensation system.
http://www.sacbee.com

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ASBESTOS
Asbestos Bill Struggling on Capitol Hill
The late U.S. congresswoman Millicent Fenwick tried it. Even former Sen. Gary Hart tried it. Now some people contend Sen. Orrin Hatch's effort to solve the asbestos problem is likely to fail too.
http://reuters.com/newsArticle.jhtml?type=politicsNews&storyID=3364054

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HIPAA
International Association of Industrial Accident Boards and Commissions
HIPAA and Workers Compensation: A Response Plan for State Administrative Agencies
http://www.iaiabc.org/hot_topics.htm

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9-11
Where Are the Victims' Families?
The original idea behind the government's Sept. 11 victims' compensation fund was to provide families that lost relatives in the 2001 terror attacks with prompt compensation in exchange for their agreement not to sue the airlines.
http://www.nytimes.com/2003/09/07/opinion/07SUN2.html?th

Love, Terror and the Chance of Love Again
"I'll lose workmen's comp and my Social Security if I get married," said one widow who is engaged. Her compensation amounts to $1,600 a month, she said, "which is the mortgage."
"The media have made us all into millionaires, but I haven't received a single penny," she said of the compensation fund money. Her application is filed and on a waiting list. 
http://www.nytimes.com/2003/09/07/nyregion/07WIDO.html?

IN RE SEPTEMBER 11 LITIGATION
The injured, and the representatives of the thousands who died from the terrorist-related aircraft crashes of September 11, 2001, are entitled to seek compensation.
http://www.nysd.uscourts.gov/sept11/21MC97_Motions_to_Dismiss_090903.pdf

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NEW YORK'S WC RATE DRAWS FIRE
A New York regulator's decision last week to grant only a 1.7 percent rate increase for workers' compensation insurance could have dire consequences for the state, the head of a trade group warned today.
http://www.nationalunderwriter.com

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FLORIDA "FIXED" THE WC SYSTEM
"The only way to lower rates long term is to find ways to remove cost from the system. Encouraging a speedier process and eliminating fraud does that."
http://www.insurancejournal.com
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SECOND-HAND SMOKE - A WARNING
Three million Britons are regularly exposed to second-hand smoke 
Being exposed to even a small amount of second-hand tobacco smoke may increase your chances of developing heart disease, according to Greek doctors. 
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/3201777.stm

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NJ PERM RATE GOING TO $650.
NJ Workers' Compensation Rates to Increase 1.9% in 2004
35 N.J.R. 4040 (9.2.03)

CALIFORNIA WC DEBATE
Reform of Medical Expenses Alone is not Enough to Stop Escalating Costs, Says AIA
http://www.aiadc.org

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CALENDAR
OCT 2 NJ WEC Annual Meeting
Rutgers Labor Center, New Brunswick, NJ
Updates on Healthy Schools, Safe Jobs, Toxic Catastrophies & Right to Know
http://www.njwec.org/


QUOTE OF THE ISSUE:
"Businesses cannot continue to suffer from skyrocketing workers compensation costs. The day I'm sworn in I will take action. I will call a special session of the legislature to enact reforms to correct the system that foist unaffordable costs on our employers while denying decent benefits to our injured workers." 
- Arnold Schwarzenegger 

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