When the Missouri Legislature passed “Work Comp” reform in 2005 the goal was to payback insurance companies and business groups for their support. The winner always gets the spoils, but this time fairness and common sense had to take a far back seat to expediency. Older workers were punished -for aging!! Section 190, subsection 3 states that “Any award of compensation shall be reduced by an amount proportional to the permanent partial disability determined to be a preexisting disease or condition or attributed to the natural process of aging sufficient to cause or prolong the disability or need of treatment. Reduced by “the natural process of aging!” Believe it or not,the intent of the legislature was to punish workers for the natural aging process.
When do we punish people for aging? From the age of 35? What about 20? Why doesn’t a worker get a bonus for healing faster, if he is young? Every middle aged worker is going to have some arthritis, or may have diabetes or some frailness as time goes on. Now the older worker is to be penalized if his “natural aging” prolongs his disability or treatment. So if you don’t bounce back at 50 the way you did when you were 25 because your body has become more frail, then the insurance company should be able to make you pay for your own treatment and at the same time cut off your lost time benefits. Where’s the outrage from groups life AARP and other advocates for older citizens? Too bad we can’t reduce the pay of Missouri legislators as they get older! Nevermind, they always stand up for themselves when it comes to their own pay raises and retirement benefits, but there is no common sense when it comes to injured workers.