California Screamin'

16 May, 2013 Bob Wilson


The level of discord and controversy over California's SB863 reforms seems to have reached a cacophonous level. There is no shortage of opinion on the measures and impact this bill will have on workers' compensation in the state. Depending on who you ask, you may hear that SB863 will "result in $1.4 billion in system savings for employers while delivering $740 million in increased workers benefits"; or it will hurt workers rights, reduce judges power, fail to deliver cost savings, and on and on and on.

So, with all of the conflicting opinions and information available, I have taken it upon myself to visit California, to personally interview people on the front lines, and see how SB863 reforms are playing out with them. And by front lines, I mean even out in front of the workers' comp professionals that manage claims. I am talking about John Q. Public, performing the work and providing services to consumers across the Golden State. 

I went to work as soon as my wife and I arrived in San Diego yesterday. The agent at the car rental agency did not seem overly concerned with SB863, but was deeply worried that I had declined all supplemental insurance coverage for our vehicle. Likewise, the concierge at the Sheraton Marina (where I am safely registered under an assumed name - my wife's) did not even seem aware of such significant reforms. And our server at a Mexican restaurant in the Gaslamp District last night thought that SB863 was some drink she had never heard of. I settled for a second Margarita. 

So far in my journey, it seems the screaming about SB863 is much louder outside the state. 

Now, before some of you think that I am merely trying to justify a weeks vacation in San Diego as a tax deductible business expense, let me assure you that you could not be  further from the truth. I mean, would I be writing in my blog if I were on vacation? This is business baby. This is business as long as I say it is, or of course, until my wife discovers I took the iPad into the bathroom with me. Irregardless, this search for information is the real deal, and I have an extensive list of interviews planned for the week. There are numerous people at the San Diego Zoo I hope to meet with. Shamu's trainers, with their dangerous position, no doubt have an opinion on the matter. Even the tour guides at the USS Midway likely have input to provide. 

Later in the week I anticipate interviews with service personnel in La Jolla and Carlsbad, and there are a variety of other people who will no doubt be able to shed light on how reforms in this state are going. I will get to the bottom of this, I assure you. The true secrets of SB863 reforms will be laid bare by my efforts and sacrifices. We will find out what is really behind all this California screamin'. 

One Margarita at a time, my friends, one Margarita at a time.

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