Workers’ Comp Legislation Attacking Medical Care for Injured Workers Struck Down by Wolf

Recently, we discussed the status of Senate Bill 936, which was passed by the House.  We are pleased to relate that Governor Thomas Wolf has vetoed this legislation, recognizing that it was a thinly disguised attack on injured workers and not a solution to any problem.

As discussed in the Morning Call, Gov. Wolf said:

Make no mistake, Senate Bill 936 is not a bill designed to fight the opioid crisis. Senate Bill 936 threatens health care for millions of workers who could be injured on the job, including police, corrections officers, and firefighters, who put their lives on the line every day, and whose injuries can be unique, debilitating and severe. It is wrong to sacrifice health care for our first responders to protect the bottom-line for insurance companies and corporations.”

We absolutely agree that SB 936 was a shameful attempt to line the pockets of the insurance carriers at the expense of injured workers.  Every representative who supported this bill should be held accountable by those they are supposed to be representing.  While the sponsors of this bill cited the concerns of ownership of pharmacies by attorneys or doctors, and the rampant opioid crisis, a simple reading of the legislation shows that neither of these issues was even addressed.

The only thing this bill would have accomplished is to deny necessary medical care to patients based solely on whether they were injured at work.  Ask yourself if that makes sense?  If that is “fair”?  Then ask the sponsors of SB 936 why their legislation failed to even mention the two supposed problems the bill was said to address.  We respect the courage shown by Gov. Wolf in telling the supporters of SB 936 that Pennsylvania will not be a party to denying medical care just because someone happened to be injured while working.