Acosta Could Unwind Regulatory Tangle At The Department Of Labor


Publish Date:
March 24, 2017
  • Peacock, Bill
The Hill
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One of the many ways the Obama administration assaulted liberty over the last eight years was by changing labor law to favor special interests. From mandated overtime pay to ambush labor elections, the previous administration used labor law to undermine the interests of employers and employees.

With the confirmation process of Alex Acosta as labor secretary underway and proposed budget cuts for the Department of Labor, the Trump administration seems poised to reverse direction. One place it ought to focus on is stopping the department’s recent assault on state workers’ compensation systems; in particular, its attempt to undermine the only free-market approach to helping injured workers in the country, Texas’ nonsubscription system.

For instance, Stanford law professor Alison Morantz found that severe, traumatic injuries decline by about one-half under Texas’ nonsubscription system. Morantz also found that combined medical, wage-replacement, and legal costs average a total of just 8 cents per worker hour in Texas compared to 14 cents per worker hour in states where workers’ compensation is mandatory. Another analysis found that initial the return to work rate of injured workers receiving income benefits within six months is 97 percent under Texas’ voluntary system compared to 83 percent under its workers’ compensation system.

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