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23. How do the 10 QCARE Standards compare to standards recommended by the 1972 National Commission on State Workmen’s Compensation Laws?

The fundamental structure of workers’ compensation programs was developed over 100 years ago and is commonly referred to as the “Grand Bargain”.  In exchange for injury benefits mandated by statute (which vary in every state), this bargain eliminated an injured workers’ right to sue for an employer’s negligence that may have caused the injury.  In 1970, Congress established the National Commission on State Workmen’s Compensation Laws (the “Commission”)  to “undertake a comprehensive study and evaluation of State workmen’s compensation laws in order to determine if such laws provide an adequate, prompt, and equitable system of compensation.”

As recently stated by one of America’s most prominent workers’ compensation scholars, “Why would you imagine that the workers’ compensation system envisioned over 100 years ago is what we should do today.”  The same is at least partially true of this national commission’s report from almost 50 years ago.

Nevertheless, here is a summary of how the five major objectives for a “modern” workers’ compensation system (as recommended in the final 1972 report) compare to Texas injury benefit programs today:

Five Major Objectives for a

Modern Workers’ Compensation Program:

Met by Texas Injury Benefit Programs?

Broad coverage


Substantial protection of income


Sufficient medical care and rehab


Encouragement of safety


Effective system for delivery


As reflected in the QCARE standards, current Texas and federal laws,[12] and all known, credible data and public policy research on actual outcomes for injured workers in the administration of over one million injury benefits and negligence liability claims during the past 30 years,[13] these five objectives have been met.

The Commission also made “19 Essential Recommendations”, the vast majority of which are premised upon workers’ compensation being mandatory for all workers, who have no rights to recover from the employer for any employer negligence liability that caused the injury.  That premise has been rejected by the State of Texas in favor a competitive model that has made the Texas workers’ compensation system one of the most-respected, high-performing programs in the country.  Texas injury benefit programs also, in fact, make medical, disability and other expense and damage payments that – we believe, in most cases – meet or exceed payments available under the Texas workers’ compensation system.


[12] See “System Structure & Improvements” on the ARAWC website.

[13] See ““Articles & Reports” on the ARAWC website.

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