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BUSINESS HAS LITTLE CONFIDENCE CLINTON HEALTH PLAN WILL CONTROL SKYROCKETING WORKERS' COMP COSTS, MERRITT PUBLISHING SURVEY REVEALS

86 Percent of Respondents Report They Have Had at Least One Workers'
 Comp Claim Filed Against Them Within the Past Three Years
 SANTA MONICA, Calif., June 10 /PRNewswire/ -- In response to First Lady Hillary Clinton's proposal to merge workers' compensation coverage into the new national health care plan, an informal nationwide telephone survey of company professionals involved in risk management conducted by the independent publishing firm The Merritt Co. reveals that 81 percent of those surveyed have little confidence that the Clinton plan will be effective in controlling skyrocketing workers' comp medical costs.
 In addition, while business has overwhelmingly voiced doubts that the new Clinton health care proposal will be able to control rising costs, more than three-quarters of those who responded believe the plan will mean greater costs to employers.
 Meanwhile, the system's continuing drain on the U.S. economy is illustrated by the fact that fully 86 percent of those surveyed report that they have had at least one workers' comp claim filed against them within the past three years.
 Though more than three-quarters of respondents also feel that the workers' comp system could indeed be reformed, almost half said they believe that trial lawyers' lobbies are powerful enough to halt any such attempts.
 James Walsh, insurance industry expert and author of Merritt Publishing's "Workers' Comp for Employers: Taking Control," says, "Special interests have made workers' comp a $70 billion-a-year industry, and a number of states' systems, including those of California, New Jersey, Florida, Texas and Maine, are on the financial critical list. Our survey also confirms that, contrary to popular belief, fraud is not perceived by business as the biggest problem facing workers' compensation."
 Walsh says that his new book is the first of its kind to illustrate to employers and executives how they can take back control of the system from special interests by reclaiming the original bargain between employers and employees regarding job-related injuries and illnesses.
 "Politicians and reformers argue about what should be done while millions of dollars from trial lawyers and industrial medicine organizations fuels the debate," adds Walsh. "Employers must bring about reform in their own workplace for any substantive change to occur."
 -0- 6/10/93
 /CONTACT: Cliff Dektar (Los Angeles), 213-965-1990, or Michael Wright (New York), 212-986-7080, both of the Lippin Group, for The Merritt Co./


CO: The Merritt Co. ST: California IN: PUB HEA SU:

LS-MF -- LA002 -- 0439 06/10/93 08:02 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Jun 10, 1993
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