The Coalition Protecting Auto No-Fault (CPAN)and Michigan Health and Hospital Association (MHA) have sunk to new lows in dispensing a steady stream of untruths and scare tactics to muddy the water around efforts to reform Michigan’s broken, outdated auto no-fault system.
“It’s clear big hospitals, medical providers and trial lawyers are pulling out all the stops to protect the status quo and block efforts to reform Michigan’s broken, outdated auto no-fault system,” said Tricia Kinley, executive director of the Insurance Alliance of Michigan. “It’s no surprise the biggest obstructionists to lowering the cost of auto insurance profit the most from a system in desperate need of reform.”
In recent days, representatives from CPAN and the MHA have generated a smokescreen of misinformation designed to scare and confuse lawmakers and the public, including:
"No major changes should be made to this incredible reparations system until we address its biggest problem: failed government." – Steve Sinas, Gongwer, 5/21/2019
Fact: The biggest problem with Michigan’s auto no-fault system is that it forces drivers to purchase unlimited, lifetime medical benefits with their auto insurance. Michigan is the only state in the nation that requires such a costly mandate.
"[Y]ou are on your own,” once you exhaust the medical coverage that comes with your auto insurance. – Steve Sinas, WLNS, 5/20/2019
Fact: Drivers in 49 other states that are injured in a car accident aren’t “on their own” and drivers in Michigan won’t be, either. According to data from the Census Bureau nearly 94% of Michiganders have some form of health insurance, which would cover the cost of medical care.
“[I]mplementation of a government-mandated fee schedule based on workers’ compensation rates for healthcare providers, which would slash nearly $400 million from trauma centers throughout Michigan in one year alone.” – MHA website, 5/17/2019
Fact: Currently, big hospitals and medical providers dramatically overcharge for medical procedures when someone is injured in a car accident. According to a report by the Detroit Free Press, an MRI at a medical clinic in Metro Detroit will cost $500 under Medicare, but the same MRI at the same facility and with the same type of machine will cost an auto insurer $5,300. The overcharging leads to higher auto insurance premiums.
Perhaps one of the most deceptive arguments put forward by the opponents of reform is the emphasis on so-called non-driving rating factors.
“Non-driving rating factors are used nearly universally across the country and changing them will not lower costs, they will simply shift costs around,” Kinley said. “To truly reduce the cost of auto insurance for drivers across Michigan the Legislature must pass real reforms to crack down on fraud and abuse, rein-in overcharging by big hospitals and give consumers a choice.”
“Don’t fall for the barrage of untruths and scare tactics from the special interests standing in the way of putting money back into your pocket,” Kinley said. “After all, every day the status quo remains in place is a good day for big hospitals and trial lawyers. We urge lawmakers to stay focused on real reforms that will fix the broken, outdated auto no-fault system.”