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Midterm Elections’ Effect on Workers Comp – Surprising Answer 

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Midterm Elections’ Effect – Surprising Conclusion

You may have heard of the Interstate Commerce Clause.   If not, you are in luck (sort of).   With the current election cycle, I receive this question at least once or twice on how the current elections affect Workers Comp insurance. The midterm elections’ effect exists, possibly not as expected.

Check out my prior articles on how the Federal elections affect Workers’ Comp insurance.

2018 Article on Midterm Elections

2012 Article on Midterm Elections 

In a nutshell, they do not have any effect.  The state-level elections will have the greatest amount of influence.  Why? Let us look at the last time the Federal Government considered making Workers Comp consistent among all the states.

pic of midterm elections effect
Public Use License – Graham Crumb

Nixon’s Investigation Into Nationalizing Workers’ Comp

One of the most popular articles that I have written in the last three years was when the Nixon Administration looked at workers comp through a Federal lens.  I recommend you read the article – definitely worth your time.   The pic of President Nixon and Elvis is worth the read alone.

The Nixon Administration made 16 recommendations to improve the Workers’ Comp system of each state.  The states immediately adopted the recommendations.  Workers Comp needed more than a few improvements 50 years ago.

Midterm Elections’ Effects – State-Level Offices Only

Why would the state-level elections have a greater effect than the national ones?  Due to the Interstate Commerce Clause, the Robinson-Patman Act, and other regulations insurance is regulated only on a state-by-state level.   The Interstate Commerce Clause says that: (Free Legal Dictionary)

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Article 1, Section 8, Clause 3, of the Constitution empowers Congress “to regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among several States, and with the Indian Tribes.” The term commerce as used in the Constitution means business or commercial exchanges in any and all of its forms between citizens of different states, including purely social communications between citizens of different states by telegraph, telephone, or radio, and the mere passage of persons from one state to another for either business or pleasure.

Intrastate, or domestic, commerce is trade that occurs solely within the geographic borders of one state. As it does not move across state lines, intrastate commerce is subject to the exclusive control of the state.

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State Elections Will Influence Insurance Laws

The Midterm Elections’ effect stops right there.  The states regulate their own insurance laws, including workers’ comp.   The answer is the House and Senate of each state oversee the insurance laws.   Yes, the midterm election will have an effect.  You will need to look at the State races, not the Federal.

I tried to see if any of the State House and Senate candidates mentioned Workers Comp or insurance in general. I did not see one.  Please let me know in the comments if any candidate mentioned insurance or Workers’ Compensation.

The Insurance Commissioner candidates may have mentioned Workers Comp in a few states. I did not see one.

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James J Moore - Workers Comp Expert

Raleigh, NC, United States

About The Author...

James founded a Workers’ Compensation consulting firm, J&L Risk Management Consultants, Inc. in 1996. J&L’s mission is to reduce our clients’ Workers Compensation premiums by using time-tested techniques. J&L’s claims, premium, reserve and Experience Mod reviews have saved employers over $9.8 million in earned premiums over the last three years. J&L has saved numerous companies from bankruptcy proceedings as a result of insurance overpayments.

James has over 27 years of experience in insurance claims, audit, and underwriting, specializing in Workers’ Compensation. He has supervised, and managed the administration of Workers’ Compensation claims, and underwriting in over 45 states. His professional experience includes being the Director of Risk Management for the North Carolina School Boards Association. He created a very successful Workers’ Compensation Injury Rehabilitation Unit for school personnel.

James’s educational background, which centered on computer technology, culminated in earning a Masters of Business Administration (MBA); an Associate in Claims designation (AIC); and an Associate in Risk Management designation (ARM). He is a Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC) and a licensed financial advisor. The NC Department of Insurance has certified him as an insurance instructor. He also possesses a Bachelors’ Degree in Actuarial Science.

LexisNexis has twice recognized his blog as one of the Top 25 Blogs on Workers’ Compensation. J&L has been listed in AM Best’s Preferred Providers Directory for Insurance Experts – Workers Compensation for over eight years. He recently won the prestigious Baucom Shine Lifetime Achievement Award for his volunteer contributions to the area of risk management and safety. James was recently named as an instructor for the prestigious Insurance Academy.

James is on the Board of Directors and Treasurer of the North Carolina Mid-State Safety Council. He has published two manuals on Workers’ Compensation and three different claims processing manuals. He has also written and has been quoted in numerous articles on reducing Workers’ Compensation costs for public and private employers. James publishes a weekly newsletter with 7,000 readers.

He currently possess press credentials and am invited to various national Workers Compensation conferences as a reporter.

James’s articles or interviews on Workers’ Compensation have appeared in the following publications or websites:

  • Risk and Insurance Management Society (RIMS)
  • Entrepreneur Magazine
  • Bloomberg Business News
  • WorkCompCentral.com
  • Claims Magazine
  • Risk & Insurance Magazine
  • Insurance Journal
  • Workers Compensation.com
  • LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and other social media sites
  • Various trade publications

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