Rep. Ben Quayle (R-AZ) introduced the Furthering Asbestos Claim Transparency Act of 2012 (FACT Act, H.R. 4369). With Representatives Jim Matheson (D-UT) and Dennis Ross (R-FL) as original cosponsors, the FACT Act is bipartisan legislation that will help combat fraud and abuse that plagues the asbestos trust system.
The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) appreciates Rep. Quayle’s leadership on this important issue. With roughly 60 asbestos trust funds and nearly $40 billion in assets, opportunistic individuals are able to file claims for the same claimant with numerous trusts, seeking multiple payouts. Without proper oversight and checks on the system, increasing fraud and abuse will harm the truly needy and diminish asbestos trust fund resources.
The FACT Act would provide much needed transparency by requiring trusts to quarterly disclose information on their claim payments and to cooperate in requests for information on claims. Different trusts could compare claims and prevent fraudulent or duplicate filings.
By ensuring that trust fund resources are dedicated to legitimate claims, Rep. Quayle’s legislation would ensure that the system functions as Congress intended. The FACT Act also would protect a claimant’s sensitive personal information. It deters fraud and abuse without impacting legitimate claims.
The FACT Act is a commonsense reform of the system that would protect the individuals for whom the trusts were established. Manufacturers support the FACT Act and urge Congress to pass the bill.
Erik Glavich is director of legal and regulatory policy, National Association of Manufacturers.
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