GUEST VIEW: Citizens won’t benefit from insurance reform

By Daily News • Last Updated 11:43 am on Thursday, June 05, 2014

Guest View | James Hoisington

Recently, we have been hearing about insurance reform from Gov. Rick Snyder, House Speaker Jase Bolger and area resident Lou Kitchenmaster regarding placing caps on what currently are unlimited benefits for those involved in serious accidents resulting in long term or even permanent care.

The medical limitations are totally unjustified since no one knows when he or she may be involved in an accident impacting their livelihood for the rest of their lives.

HB 4612 (H-3) imposes separate caps on benefits eliminating lifetime medical and rehabilitation coverage and replaces it with a $10 million dollar cap and a $250,000 lifetime cap on persons sustaining an accident between motorcycles and motor vehicles. It also imposes a $450,000 lifetime cap on medical care rendered to any nonresident injured in a motor vehicle accident occurring in Michigan, which means Michigan hospitals would be required to render free care if the nonresident does not have health insurance and accident coverage. Senior citizens and others who do not own motor vehicles will also be subject to a $250,000 cap. This could result in their admission to nursing homes and other government Medicaid funded facilities.

H-3 imposes numerous and substantial limitations on the scope and availability of medical and rehabilitation care. For example, permanently injured patients who reach a point where they will not “meaningfully improve” will be subject to a complete termination of benefits.

The most alarming aspect of the reform is insurance companies will be able to exercise unprecedented control over the nature and extent of medical care that is rendered to patients. Medical providers who render that care could be intimidated from doing what they believe is in the best interest of their patients. In addition, there is no longer a right to a jury trial to prosecute insurance companies who engage in unfair claim processing practices.

We are forced to carry insurance on our vehicles in Michigan for protection from liabilities and personal injuries. I see this reform as another attempt to shift costs to all taxpayers including those who don’t even drive.

Please do not let the bureaucrats continue to fool you. Republicans complain about Democrats raising taxes, yet Republicans will raise our taxes by transferring control to the insurance companies. It is very important that you understand all of the fine print of the bill. They do not have your best interest in mind and every time they make changes you can bet Michigan citizens will not benefit from them.

This issue was put on the ballot twice before and Michigan citizens overwhelmingly voted against it.

 James Hoisington, of Stanton, is a Democratic candidate for 70th District State House seat.

 The opinions expressed in the Guest View do not necessarily represent the opinions of The Daily News.

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