Tuesday Reads — Is there a choice of doctor in the House?

There’s a public hearing tonight in the Iowa House on controversial workers’ compensation legislation that would allow an injured worker to choose the doctor who treats them. Right now, the choice is in the hands of their employer. The Des Moines Register has a good overview. The hearing starts at 7 a.m.

The battle lines on this one are hardly surprising. Democratic-allied labor unions support the measure, arguing that workers should be able to see a familiar doctor who knows them and their medical history. Republican-allied business interests predict that workers will go “doctor shopping” for worker-friendly providers who will cost businesses a mint in extra compensation costs.

Things are heating up. In a first that I know of, a Twitter tweet has sparked controversy. Iowa Independent reports that a tweet posted on the House Democratic Caucus page makes reference to Rush Limbaugh’s bout with drug addiction, suggesting that doctor shopping isn’t all about union workers. The Bean Walker declared news of this politically charged tweet a “shock.”

I can’t believe I just typed the words ‘politcally charged tweet.’

Anyway, what I can’t figure out is how Republicans who lose their minds every time you talk about universal health care, because big government is going to kill consumer choice, think it’s OK for big business to do the same thing. They’ll say private insurance plans already limit everyone’s choice, but you do get to choose a doctor from a list longer than one.

But is it a good time to to pass legislation that might raise costs for struggling businesses?

The Iowa Republican says the bill will also hurt schools by jacking up workers compensation insurance rates.

Elsewhere, The Gazette’s Cindy Hadish writes that a state health report released todaywill tout the smoking ban’s potential impact on cancer rates in the state. Experts caution, however, that it will be years before the impact shows up in the numbers.  Rates may not show a decline for 5 to 10 years.

But you don’t have to wait to see the growing graffiti problem in Davenport, according to the Quad-City Times. Instances of gang-related graffiti took a big jump in February and police aren’t sure why.

No need to freak out, but the Cedar River is running high, thanks to a few days of significant rainfall. Rick Smith notes at Eye on the Island that two new river measurement gauges are set to be installed this month upstream.

After today, the forecast calls for several days of dry weather.


1 Comment

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One response to “Tuesday Reads — Is there a choice of doctor in the House?

  1. I’ve seen a lot of snark come down the IA House Dems Twitter stream but never a lot of fact so I am not surprised.

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