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Senate Republicans Oppose ‘Watered Down’ Comp Plan

Sen. Pruitt's debate against SB 846.

Henry’s Plan Protects Attorneys from Real Reform at Expense of Doctors, Injured Workers

Senate Republicans unanimously voted against Gov. Brad Henry’s watered down workers’ compensation plan – Senate Bill 846 – in the Oklahoma State Senate Wednesday, charging that the bill penalizes physicians and injured workers in an effort to protect attorneys from meaningful reforms.

“This workers’ comp bill sides with lawyers at the expense of medical doctors, injured workers, and employers. There is an urgent need to pass real workers’ comp reform this year, and this watered-down bill falls short when we need to be passing meaningful reforms,” stated Senate Republican Leader Glenn Coffee, R-Oklahoma City.

Republicans say the Henry workers’ comp plan lacks the significant legal reforms that are the key to reducing the costs of the system. Sen. Scott Pruitt, R-Broken Arrow, predicted that the Republican workers’ comp reform bill will provide at least three times the cost savings as Henry’s proposal.

“The Republican plan in House Bill 2046 is estimated to reduce workers’ compensation costs in Oklahoma by $130-160 million. The governor’s plan saves only a fraction of that amount,” Pruitt said.

“In Oklahoma, attorneys are nearly three times as likely to be involved in a workers’ injury case as the national average. This, by far, is the number one issue driving up workers’ comp costs in Oklahoma. You can’t have real workers’ comp reform without reducing litigation and attorney involvement. Under the current system, lawyers are getting rich while injured workers and employers are paying the price,” stated Pruitt.

Contact info
Senate Communications Office- (405) 521-5774