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Opinion | Michigan no-fault insurance helps doctors, lawyers, not drivers

A recently published column about Michigan’s auto no-fault system failed to address the real problems with Michigan’s broken, outdated auto no-fault law. Instead, the column is a blatant attempt to use misinformation to shift blame for Michigan’s high auto insurance premiums.

Counterpoint: Opinion: The truth about no-fault and Mayor Duggan’s misguided lawsuit

It’s not surprising to see a medical provider try to pull the wool over the eyes of Michiganders. After all, Michigan’s auto no-fault system and its mandate that all drivers purchase unlimited lifetime medical benefits has been a golden goose for them and hospitals and trial lawyers.

No other state in the country burdens its residents with such an expensive requirement. This costly mandate is one of the biggest reasons Michigan drivers pay more for car insurance than drivers in any other state.

According to numerous reports, Michigan drivers pay more than double what drivers in neighboring Indiana, Ohio and Wisconsin pay for auto insurance. And Michigan drivers pay nearly twice the national average.

Why are medical providers stooping to mistruths to protect the status quo? Because they can charge drivers injured in a car accident three and four times more for the same procedure than other forms of insurance, making no-fault a cash cow.

According to a Citizens Research Council of Michigan (CRC) report on the medical costs associated with auto no-fault: “Providers are not prevented from, and may benefit in, ordering and charging for more services that provide little, no or even negative health value to the patient.”

Reining in overcharging by hospitals and medical providers is one of three reforms that will bring down the cost of auto insurance for drivers across Michigan, from Detroit to the western Upper Peninsula. The other reforms include:

  • Cracking down on rampant fraud and abuse, which costs families hundreds of dollars a year in additional premiums
  • Giving consumers a choice in their level of medical coverage, just like other forms of insurance, which could save drivers $1 billion a year in auto insurance premiums

There’s a reason why hospitals, medical providers and trial lawyers fought against these reforms in House Bill 5013 last year. The legislation would have upended the status quo, reformed Michigan’s broken, outdated auto no-fault system and taken away their golden goose.

It also would have saved you money on your car insurance premiums.

Don’t let these special interests fool you. The only way to bring down the cost of auto insurance is through real reforms to Michigan’s outdated auto no-fault system, not smoke and mirrors.

Bridge welcomes guest columns from a diverse range of people on issues relating to Michigan and its future. The views and assertions of these writers do not necessarily reflect those of Bridge or The Center for Michigan. Bridge does not endorse any individual guest commentary submission. If you are interested in submitting a guest commentary, please contact Ron French. Click here for details and submission guidelines.

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