Monopolistic Washington Free Market Soon
Monopolistic Washington will be a free market soon. Monopolistic states for Worker’s Compensation such as Washington and South Dakota may be a free market system someday.
Actually, Washington may take the plunge into the free market system such as Nevada and West Virginia have recently.
If one compares Washington to pre-free market West Virginia, the number of similarities are many. One of the most obvious findings is both states increased their rates when neighboring states had Workers Comp premium rates that were steady or decreasing overall.
Don Brunell of the Columbian wrote that Initiative 1082 would allow private insurance companies to break the state’s monopoly on workers’ compensation insurance.
While workers’ comp taxes are falling around the country, Washington employers and workers were hit with a $117 million tax hike for 2010 — the highest increase since 2003. By comparison, Oregon, which allows private competition, has not increased its rates in the last 20 years and returned $100 million to its employers this year.
Competition is the key. It can lower costs to taxpayers and create jobs in the private, taxpaying sector. As long as the private and public sectors can compete on a level playing field and everyone complies with the same set of rules and regulations, the private sector should likely be given a chance.
After all, the free market worked for West Virginia.
Mr. Brunell’s astute observations were exactly the same articles that were written in the West Virginia press before Governor Manchin took the bull by the horns and pushed for Workers Comp reform. I hope that the legislators in Washington will heed the articles such as Mr. Brunell’s or there will likely be even more sharp Workers Comp premium hikes in Washington.
Time will tell, but then again, how much time does the state of Washington have left?
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