Are we now seeing the results of legislation that takes away benefits to injured workers and thereby forces them onto the backs of taxpayers? There have been long time warnings that reducing or eliminating benefits that were available to injured workers 30 years ago would force those who can’t work onto the backs of taxpayers. Many hospitals are also seeing similar results and are laying off employees because their funding is being cut but yet they still have to provide treatment. When a workers’ compensation carrier denies paying benefits in a work-related claim, hospitals must bill Medicaid on a timely basis or risk not getting paid at all. Carriers are happy when hospitals bill Medicaid as it delays when or if the carrier will ever pay the bill. If the private sector did a better job of providing health insurance, disability coverage and bring people back to work after an injury, these numbers would drop. In fact, in Florida a disabled injured worker MUST file for Social Security Disability Benefits or risk having his workers’ compensation benefits stopped. This is required by law. Our insurance commissioner allows private disability policies and also REQUIRES a disabled person to file for SSDI. Most carriers will even hire a company to help that person get the government disability benefits. Why? Because in both cases the insurance company gets to drastically reduce what it has to pay while throwing the majority of the responsibility on the back of the government. Our legislators and elected officials have allowed this to happen and now they want to complain about the problem they helped to create? Change the laws, put more responsibility on the private sector and remove the requirement that forces people to file for disability.