Public hearing for “choice of doctor” bill

Ken Sagar, president of the Iowa Federation of Labor, AFL/CIO, is the first person recognized to speak this evening at a public hearing in the Iowa House of Representatives about a labor bill which would let a worker who's injured on the job seek treatment from a doctor of their choice rather than the one chosen by their employer. 

"We believe that workers have a right to make decisions about their own heatlh care," Sagar said.  The legislator who's emceeing tonight's hearing says 42 people have signed up to speak.  There appear to be more business types signed up to speak tonight compared to the public hearing held a couple of weeks ago on the prevailing wage bill.

A worker from an unnamed meatpacking plant is speaking now, suggesting the plant's managers pressured the "company doctor" to change his diagnosis and deny him treatment for injuries to his hands/wrists that were caused by the repetitious activity of the kill line.. 

Charles Sukup, president chairman of the Iowa Association of Business and Industry is up next. "Employees are truly the most valuable asset to any business," Sukup said.  "…We use doctors that specialize in the treatment of workplace injuries." 

The House Labor Committee plans to meet at 9 p.m. this evening to take up the bill that's being discussed right now.  The bill has already cleared the Senate Labor Committee.

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About O.Kay Henderson

O. Kay Henderson is the news director of Radio Iowa.