Defense Base Act Compensation Blog

The Modern Day DBA Casualty

Posts Tagged ‘Senator Bernie Sanders’

Hearing on: After Injury, the Battle Begins: Evaluating Workers’ Compensation for Civilian Contractors in War Zones

Posted by defensebaseactcomp on June 18, 2009

Looks like this is the best we’re going to get today.

By  1:55 they will post a link for the live stream of the  2:00 pm hearing.

Currently rescheduled for 6 pm same links

Hearing delayed until at least 3:30  go to this link bottom of page for prepared statements

Panel One

Seth D. Harris
Deputy Secretary
Department of Labor

Panel Two

Timothy Newman
Former civilian contractor in Iraq

Kevin Smith
Former civilian contractor in Iraq

John Woodson
Former civilian contractor in Iraq

Panel Three

Kristian P. Moor*
President of AIU Holdings, Inc., a division of AIG

George R. Fay
Executive Vice President, Worldwide P&C Claims, CNA Financial

A Plaintiffs attorney   seen often on the  X Files     

He does not speak for or represent us here at  the blog or sister websites

  • Appearing with assistance from: Charles Schader, Senior Vice President & Chief Claims Officer, AIU Holdings

Senator Bernie Sanders (D-VT) is expected to participate in this hearing.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , | 5 Comments »

Pentagon’s IG to Examine AIG Insurance Provided to Private Contractors in Iraq and Afghanistan

Posted by defensebaseactcomp on May 21, 2009


Pentagon’s IG to Examine AIG Insurance Provided to Private Contractors in Iraq and Afghanistan

by T. Christian Miller, ProPublica – May 21, 2009

The Defense Department’s inspector general [1] is preparing a possible audit to examine allegations that inadequate oversight by federal officials allowed AIG and other major carriers to deny medical benefits due civilian contractors in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The examination, undertaken in response to a request [2] (PDF) by Sen. Bernie Sanders [3] (I-VT), comes after a joint investigation [4] by the Los Angeles Times, ABC News and ProPublica found that AIG and other carriers denied nearly half of claims for serious injuries to contractors working overseas.

“We are currently examining the information provided in your correspondence,” wrote John R. Crane, the assistant inspector general, in a letter to Sanders earlier this month [5] (PDF). “We will provide you the results of that examination and our course of action in the matter as soon as possible.”

IG officials met with Senate staff last week to hammer out details of the proposed audit, according to people familiar with the matter. “We’re in the preliminary stages. It’s fact-finding stuff,” said an IG official, who requested anonymity to speak freely.

At issue is a federally mandated system that requires government contractors to purchase workers’ compensation insurance for overseas civilians. AIG [6] is the largest provider of such insurance, which is required under a World War II-era law known as the Defense Base Act [7]. Taxpayers pay premiums for the insurance, which is included in the price of federal contracts.

So far, AIG and three other carriers have earned more than $1.5 billion in premiums while paying out only about $900 million in benefits, according to a congressional report [8] (PDF) last year — a far higher profit margin than workers’ compensation programs in the United States. AIG declined to comment.

One of the problems with the system, the joint investigation found, is that no single agency is responsible for overseeing it. The Labor Department administers payments made to contractors, but the Defense Department pays most of the premiums.

This bifurcation actually makes the acting Defense Department inspector general, Gordon Heddell [9], especially well qualified to look into the matter. While awaiting Senate confirmation, he’s still doing his old job: inspector general for the Labor Department [10].

The IG’s office joins the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee [11] and a panel [12] of the House Committee on Government and Oversight Reform in looking into the overall program. Earlier this month, the IG issued a report [13] (PDF) that found that military medical facilities were failing to recoup millions of dollars in costs from AIG and other carriers for care provided to injured contractors. So far, more than 1,400 contractors have died in Iraq, and another 31,000 have been injured.

A Hill staffer who has followed the issue said several agencies have indicated that the system has serious flaws. The Government Accountabilty Office [14] (PDF) and the Congressional Research Service [15] (PDF) have criticized the system, which has gone largely unchanged since the 1940s. “Everybody says this is broken,” the staffer said. “We need major changes to fix this.”

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

%d bloggers like this: