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Preserve California's workers comp reforms: Poizner


SACRAMENTO, Calif.—In one of his final actions as California insurance commissioner, Steve Poizner urged California Gov. Jerry Brown to protect the state's workers compensation reforms.

Dave Jones became insurance commissioner on Jan. 3.

Before leaving office, Mr. Poizner said last week that he sent a letter to Gov. Brown asking him not to increase workers comp benefits by reverting to a permanent disability rating schedule that insurers and employers were required to apply before California adopted reforms in 2004.

“While there is a real need to examine the permanent disability schedule, reinstituting the schedule to pre-2004 reform levels would result in a significant increase in” costs, Mr. Poizner said in a statement. “This increase would likely be reflected in real-world rates paid by employers and could slow a recovery by California's economy.”

The outgoing commissioner also urged the incoming governor to implement new reforms including requiring insurers to implement pharmacy networks, implementing regulations for physicians dispensing pharmaceuticals, and mandating the prescribing or dispensing of generic drug equivalents.