Bob Wilson, well-known blogger of WorkersCompensation.com, addressed the question of potential federal intervention in the delivery of workers’ comp benefits in a recent post. Wilson explains how the Interstate Commerce Clause has been used in two major cases to expand the national government’s access to state activities – namely, the consumption of a product. Wickard v. Filburn, involves agricultural quotas and wheat purchases, and the recent National Federation of Independent Business v. Sebelius, upheld the individual mandate of the Affordable Care Act.
Wilson concludes: “The real question, knowing that the federal government likely could legislate or regulate workers’ compensation [under the precedent regarding the Interstate Commerce Clause set by Wickard and Sebelius], is whether the federal government would. There are those who say ‘never’ and there are those who doubt. But there are also those who believe that such an action is not only likely, but to be desired. Few ever suggested before Sebelius that Americans could be forced by their government to purchase products against their free will. Many thought this degree of government intrusion into American lives could ‘never’ happen […] Can the federal government take over legislation and regulation of work injury compensation and care? Absolutely. Will it? Time will tell.”
Read the post in its entirety here.