T. Christian Miller reports that although Labor Secretary promised strong enforcement of labor laws, the agency has failed to pursue sanctions against corporations accused of violating one of the department’s fastest growing and most expensive programs: a program that requires medical care for civilian workers injured in war zones like Afghanistan and Iraq.
Co-published with Salon, Miller notes that the Department of Labor, “has also taken no action in cases where insurance carriers allegedly provided false or misleading information to the federal government to terminate medical benefits for injured civilians -- another potential crime under the law, known as the Defense Base Act. The lack of enforcement has allowed carriers and contract companies to abuse the system by avoiding or blocking payments, forcing contractors to spend months and sometimes years battling carriers in court for benefits, claimants and their attorneys said.”
Miller examines why the Labor Dept. has been lax in enforcement, why fines had only been imposed in only 50 of more than 36,000 cases processed by the two largest insurance carriers, who is accountable, and what some of the key problems are in enforcing standards.
Read the full report here – http://www.propublica.org/feature/labor-dept-slow-to-enforce-defense-base-act-for-contractor-care-1217 We hope you will share this story with your readers.
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