As a businessman, I know that you often have to spend money to make money. Investment is critical for economic success. Improving Oklahoma and making the state competitive benefits all Oklahomans, which is why we must be ready and willing to invest in ourselves.
Oklahoma's workers' compensation system is broken. We need to fix it, but a real fix will require some investment. For too long, our well-intentioned state leaders have tinkered around the edges of the system, only to have their reform efforts overturned by the courts. As a result, now we know that true reform will only come from removing the courts from the workers' compensation system.
Moving to an administrative system returns the decision-making process back to the employees in better cooperation with their employers. Getting the medical treatment out of the hands of attorneys and back into the hands of the two people who want that injured worker back to work — the employee and the employer — will reduce costs and get injured workers back on the job sooner.
While the solution seems obvious, one of the complaints most often voiced about changing Oklahoma's adversarial, court-based workers' comp system to an administrative system is that it will cost too much to create and operate. I think I speak for all Oklahoma business owners when I say that we can't afford not to change our system.