LANSING, Mich. - Legislation to reduce the cost of auto insurance in Michigan has been defeated in the state House.
The bill was rejected 45-63 Thursday night in the Republican-led chamber.
The measure would let drivers opt out of a requirement to carry unlimited medical benefits through their auto insurance for crash injuries. It seeks varying cuts in personal injury protection fees for motorists choosing less coverage.
Supporters say the bill would help drivers who face the highest premiums in the country. Opponents say it would give insurers wiggle room to avoid guaranteed rate rollbacks and lead to inadequate treatment for people with brain and other catastrophic injuries.
Here are the names of the NAY votes:
Michigan House Representatives Afendoulis, Garcia, Jones, Roberts, Brann, Garrett, Kesto, Robinson, Brinks, Gay-Dagnogo, Kosowski, Runestad, Camilleri, Geiss, LaGrand, Sabo, Chang, Graves, Lasinski, Schor, Chirkun, Green, Liberati, Singh, Clemente, Greig, Lucido, Sneller, Cochran, Greimel, Marino, Sowerby, Cox, Guerra, Maturen, Tedder, Crawford, Hammoud, McCready, VerHeulen, Dianda, Hertel, Moss, Webber, Durhal, Hoadley, Neeley, Wittenberg, Elder, Howell, Pagan, Yanez, Ellison, Howrylak, Peterson, Yaroch, Faris, Iden, Phelps, Zemke, Frederick, Inman, and Rabhi.
Here are the names of the YEAS votes:
Michigan House Representatives Albert, Glenn, LaSata, Rendon, Alexander, Griffin, Lauwers, Santana, Allor, Hauck, Leonard, Scott, Barrett, Hernandez, Leutheuser, Sheppard, Bellino, Hoitenga, Lilly, Theis, Bizon, Hornberger, Love, VanderWall, Byrd, Hughes, Lower, VanSingel, Calley, Johnson, Miller, Vaupel, Canfield, Kahle, Noble, Victory, Chatfield, Kelly, Pagel, Wentworth, Cole, LaFave, Reilly, Whiteford, and Farrington.
Under the now dead reform legislation:
- Insurers would be required by law to roll back rates for people who select the $250,000 coverage level to guarantee that the savings are passed to drivers and not kept in insurers’ pockets. Future rate increases would be regulated by the State of Michigan for 5 years.
- Auto insurers would be subject to a fee schedule for health services, just like health insurers. Under the current law, car insurers pays three or four times more for services such as X-rays and MRIs than health insurance companies do, so the exact same MRI that costs health insurers $770 costs auto insurers $3,200 or more.
- Senior drivers who have lifetime health care coverage would be able to opt out of PIP since they’re already insured through employee retirement plans, Medicare and the like.
- Lawyers would be prevented from filing liens against health care providers until an insurer has denied a coverage claim, preventing thousands of lawsuits from being filed. Lawsuits over auto crashes are skyrocketing across the state — accounting for 42% of all civil suits filed. Since 2010, the number of car-crash lawsuits has increased more than 50% in Oakland, Macomb and Kent counties. And in too many cases, lawyers are filing immediate suits for drivers against their own insurance companies for medical bills — before coverage decisions are even made — so the lawyers can pocket up to a third of those bills as attorney fees.
- Anti-fraud measures would crack down on those who abuse the system with unnecessary or excessive medical services. That would include banning lawyers or their families from abusing this system to profit from financial interests, direct or indirect, in medical care facilities, a conflict of interest that often creates a financial incentive for lawyers to drive up unneeded medical services.
- Any excess funding in the Michigan Catastrophic Claims Association that actuaries say isn’t necessary to cover medical care would be returned to drivers who paid into it.
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