Basking in the glow of his evangelical-inspired victory in South Carolina’s Republican presidential primary, Newt Gingrich is trying to unify his disparate assembly of Tea Party malcontents, religious moralists, anti-immigrant reactionaries, and most significantly, “anti-government encroachment” fanatics.
Before his candidacy gains any more momentum, we should look back and reflect on the havoc his positions would create in our current State systems. Governor Rick Perry invited Gingrich to speak to the Republican Governors Association after last November’s Republican landslide. Gingrich decried the “leftist political system that has been dominating America since 1932.” Obviously, his attack is leveled at the New Deal, Great Society systems that provide benefits (he calls them entitlements) for so many– Social Security Disability, Medicare, Equal Rights legislation, etc.
More significantly for the worker’s compensation system, he indicated in his 12 Step Program (sound familiar) that he wanted to replace State’s worker’s compensation programs. In an obvious attack on worker’s compensation attorneys, his plan was to “replace litigation-focused worker’s compensation with a rehabilitation and capabilities focused program that maximizes the speed of helping people medically, and focuses on retraining and focuses on what they can do rather than what they can’t do.”
While the medical end of this aim is laudable, Wisconsin’s system (and many others) currently does focus on retraining and what workers can do following their injury. Wisconsin’s vocational rehabilitation Continue reading