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FOLEY URGES PROMPT WORKERS' COMPENSATION REFORM

 PHILADELPHIA, Jan. 21 /PRNewswire/ -- Labor and Industry Secretary Tom Foley today urged prompt action to reform the state workers' compensation system in order to cut business costs while maintaining important protection for injured workers and their families.
 Speaking before a workers' compensation seminar sponsored by Business Philadelphia magazine, Foley said there is already basic agreement on elements of reform legislation that could save Pennsylvania businesses hundreds of millions of dollars.
 "Everything needed for reasonable and responsible reform is on the table, and now is the time for everyone to get together," Foley said. "Pennsylvania can no longer afford these increases in workers' compensation costs that burden business and threaten jobs."
 Foley said appropriate legislation could roll back some of the 24 percent increase in premium rates granted last year to workers' compensation insurance carriers.
 While the 24 percent increased premium grant was just half of the 52 percent rate increase originally requested by the insurance industry, it still places an additional $800 million burden on Pennsylvania businesses.
 In addition, reform legislation should include proposals that would adequately cap medical costs, permit competition among insurance companies in setting rates, and provide discounts to employers who establish programs to reduce accidents and injuries and improve workplace safety, he said.
 "These measures, which Gov. Casey proposed in his workers' compensation package last year, could save Pennsylvania businesses up to $700 million annually."
 "Pennsylvania business and Pennsylvania workers deserve meaningful workers' compensation now, and there is no reason why responsible compromise can not be reached."
 /delval/
 -0- 1/21/93
 CONTACT: Jack McGettigan or John Currie of the Department of Labor and Industry, 717-787-7530/


CO: Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry ST: Pennsylvania IN: SU:

MJ -- PH024 -- 7368 01/21/93 11:35 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Jan 21, 1993
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