Backers said the new proposition would keep true to the fundamental focus of the overhaul — reduced system costs and a system that would get injured employees back to work more quickly.
Mike Seney, a senior policy analyst for the State Chamber of Oklahoma, said cost savings are still anticipated in excess of $200 million under the new version of the bill.
“It does get rid of our court-based system and go through an administrative system, which Oklahoma employers have been working toward and stating that we needed for years now,” Seney said. “It's a good bill.”
Critics, however, maintain the bill — both the initial and the revised versions — protects employers and doctors by dumping long-held rights held by the state's workers.
“This is all about special interests wanting their way,” said Rep. Richard Morrissette, D-Oklahoma City.
“What's the difference between a court judge and an administrative judge except in this case the workers will not have an advocate?”