The Demolition of Workers’ Comp

Christine Baker, the state official who oversees workers’ comp in California, said the number of claims that reach medical review is very low and the reform has provided an important check on costs. Most of the denials, she added, represent “inappropriate care,” such as overprescribing addictive painkillers…

But Ramirez now feels doubly vulnerable, knowing how easily his critical support could be taken away. Lying awake at night, Ramirez wonders what will happen when he gets older, when he and his wife have even less strength, when his kids have families of their own. “Those moments, they make you think it’s better to die before that happens,” he said. “I don’t want to live like that.”

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