I've opined in the past that workers' compensation may start being viewed as irrelevant to society today:
The Irrelevancy of Comp 1/5/2011 &Is Workers’ Comp Irrelevant?
Texas presently is the only state that does not make workers' compensation mandatory coverage to be provided by employers and where employees can sue employers civilly for work injuries. Some employers in Texas opt to "go bare" with their own risk management strategies that sometimes provide better benefits for their workers (though some employers abuse the privilege also).
However, other states seem to be looking at the Texas model and seem to think that there is something worthwhile in either making workers' compensation optional, or just completely scrapping the system.
Texas' neighbor to the north, Oklahoma, is going through the exercise of "reform" and in the debate are proposals to make work comp optional in the Texas model.
Yesterday we reported that a bill was floating in the Illinois legislature to completely abolish that state's work comp system (Procedural Glitch Stalls House Bill to Abolish Workers' Comp System [2011-04-11] - subscription required to view).
Vermont is searching for a solution as that state's governor pushes through his vision of a single source payer system for medical care ( Single-Payer Bill Heads to Senate [2011-03-28] - subscription required to view).
I've been in the work comp industry for almost thirty years now. This is the most activity I've seen where the "requirement" that a state mandate workers' compensation is being so seriously debated.
Are we really ready for a change?