The Michigan Chamber of Commerce today issued a statement warning lawmakers not to be fooled by phony auto insurance reform proposals being supported by ambulance-chasing personal injury attorneys and hospitals that profit from the status quo.
“Opponents of the real, cost-saving reforms supported by Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan, House Speaker Tom Leonard and House Insurance Chair Lana Theis are pulling out all the stops,” said Wendy Block, Sr. Director of Health Policy, Human Resources & Business Advocacy for the Michigan Chamber. “Ambulance-chasing personal injury attorneys and price-gouging medical providers have been raking in profits on the backs of Michigan drivers and will do anything to protect their gravy train.”
“The so-called alternative package of bills being pushed by Rep. Ben Frederick and Rep. Donna Lasinski are a diversion and a thinly veiled attempt to give opponents of reform ‘political cover’ for voting no and avoiding real reform,” added Block. “These bills actually would increase costs on Michigan drivers and put more money into the pockets of those favoring the status quo and Michigan’s wholly unique auto insurance mandates.”
“This is a political tactic we normally see out of Washington DC: provide a false solution that doesn’t solve the problem and declare victory for political cover,” said Jim Holcomb, Senior Vice President, Business Advocacy & General Counsel for the Michigan Chamber. “Lawmakers need to find courage and tackle the very real problem of Michigan’s highest-in-the-nation auto insurance costs and its primary cost-drivers.”
“While the real auto insurance reform plan being pushed by the Speaker and Mayor would save drivers more than $1 billion annually, the fake plan fails to give drivers choice in their level of medical coverage; allows hospitals and other medical providers to continue their price gouging, charging drivers two, three, seven or more times more for their medical procedures than they would any other patient with medical coverage; and offers watered-down fraud protections,” said Block.
“For the Michigan Chamber, the choice is clear: Lawmakers can either support real, cost-saving reforms that will benefit the 7.1 million licensed drivers in Michigan or do nothing and support greedy special interests profiting from the current system at the expense of drivers,” said Holcomb.
“This is not a new issue,” said Rich Studley, President & CEO. "Auto insurance reform and driver choice has been debated for years so there is no good reason the Legislature shouldn’t pass a bill this week. Lawmakers shouldn’t go home for Thanksgiving break until they pass a bill.”
“This is a key record call vote for the Michigan Chamber and we will be actively monitoring who’s on the right side on this issue,” concluded Studley.