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Insurance companies in Michigan want PEOPLE to pay premiums, but don’t want to be accountable when the risk occurs. A deal was struck back in 1972 with auto insurance companies and the Michigan Legislature, creating the Michigan No Fault Act. As with any compromise, there was a give and take. PEOPLE would be required to purchase auto insurance if they drive in Michigan, and we would not be able to bring a claim against the at-fault driver/owner of a vehicle for noneconomic, pain and suffering damages unless the injury was serious. That was what the insurance companies got. We the PEOPLE got unlimited lifetime medical benefits, wage loss for 3 years, and household services for 3 years regardless of fault, usually from our own auto insurance company. That was what the PEOPLE got. Now the auto insurance companies want to take most of those benefits away. That is not fair.

In an attempt to justify their position, the auto insurance companies had Kevin Clinton, Michigan’s Insurance Commissioner, blame the doctors and hospitals by saying these providers “are responsible for gouging Michigan citizens” and claiming they are the reason the “system is out of control” or essentially committing fraud. What I find ironic about that argument is, not 6 months ago, the medical malpractice insurance companies were using the same doctors and hospitals to argue before the Michigan Legislature to provide more privilege and immunity to them or doctors would leave the state and hospitals would close.

The insurance companies are trying to manipulate Michigan politicians over the PEOPLE’S objections for an unrealistic business model where they get their cake and ice cream and eat it, too. Taking in money (in the form of premiums) and not having to pay any out (in the form of benefits). HB 4612 is just their vehicle and it must be stopped. In addition to taking away some of the benefits WE have paid for, this bill just might cause doctors to leave and hospitals to close. Let’s not discount and further victimize the victims and survivors of motor vehicle collisions in Michigan.

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