On His Way Out, Rep. Broadwater Warns Against Partisanship on WCAC

State Representative Chris Broadwater (R-Hammond) announced his resignation late last year, citing the need to spend more time with his family. His last official day will be no later than March 1st, 2018. In an interview with Louisiana Comp Blog, Broadwater pointed to opioids and problems with the Workers’ Compensation Advisory Council (WCAC) as areas that still need attention.

Regarding the opioid crisis, a national issue in both workers’ comp and group health, Broadwater has filed workers’ comp pharmacy formulary bills in previous Legislative Sessions, arguing that such a measure would reduce the likelihood of long-term opioid use.

“I suspect that Representative Talbot, who also filed a formulary bill last Session, will continue to pursue those issues after my departure,” he said. “It would be a colossal mistake for the stakeholders not to address the opioid issue collaboratively.”

Broadwater added that he is proud of the work he has undertaken in the workers’ comp arena since he began his service in 2011 and when he previously served as Office of Workers’ Compensation Administration Director. “I do think it was a significant move forward when we adopted the Medical Treatment Guidelines,” Broadwater said. “I think there are elements of that I’ve been disappointed in – both by the courts and with the administration in terms of updates – but I’m proud of that.”

Broadwater saved his sternest parting words for the WCAC.

“During my term as Director I felt that the Advisory Council was functioning and that it was about diverse parties working together,” he said. “Now, both the make up of the Council and the activist role it has recently undertaken is disappointing. It’s supposed to be a venue for dialogue and collaboration.”

Asked why he believes the Council has declined in collaborative capability, Broadwater cited an increase in adversarial behavior. “I think that it’s important that the Council reflect the people that are actually affected by the workers’ compensation system,” he said. “Right now, I don’t think that’s the case. You have greater success in reform with buy in from all of the stakeholders. Character assassination of members of the workers’ comp community is not productive. I’d like to see the Council get their act together.”

 

Read Representative Broadwater’s resignation letter here: Broadwater Resignation Letter

 

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