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Serious car accident survivors rally in Lansing saying law puts lives at risk

Posted at 6:34 AM, Jun 10, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-10 06:34:11-04

LANSING, Mich. — Car accident survivors with catastrophic injuries rallied in Lansing Wednesday, warning a law that goes into effect July 1 puts their lives at risk.

7 Action News shared their concerns when auto no-fault insurance reform was passed about two years ago. A provision slashes reimbursement for attendant care for catastrophically injured victims by 45% effective July 1st.

“I am here to make my voice heard,” said Roderick Munro, an accident survivor at the rally.

The insurance industry says the law will end price gouging in the attendant care industry. Companies and workers warn a 45% cut will drive those not gouging completely out of business. Munro says he already knows of attendant care companies that have closed due to the impending cuts.

You aren’t going to get quality people, if anybody at all,” Munro said.

Lawmakers spoke to survivors like Munro at the rally. A bipartisan coalition of seventy-three current and former lawmakers also signed a legal memo stating they did not intend for two key provisions in the 2019 no-fault auto insurance law to be applied retroactively.

They spoke out not only against the 45% cut but against a 56-hour-per-week cap on family and friend-provided, home-based attendant care. These laws are being challenged in a lawsuit filed against USAA Casualty Insurance Company and Citizens Insurance Company of America that is currently before the Michigan Court of Appeals.

Two lawmakers have introduced legislation to prevent the 45% cut. State Senator Curtis Hertel, a Democrat from Lansing, introduced Senate Bill 314. State Representative Douglas Wozniak, a Republican from Shelby Township introduced House Bill 4486.

A number of lawmakers spoke today - calling for a fix.

“I don’t think there is anything wrong with admitting we did something with good intentions. It turns out we need to go back and fix it,” said State Rep. Laurie Pohutsky (D-Livonia.)

“I know this is a scary moment for some people,” said Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D-Michigan), when asked about the legislation.

Whitmer signed the massive auto no-fault reform bill into law with the 45% cut provision. 7 Action News asked her if it needs to be fixed or she believes the bill she signed should remain law as is.

“I would be very interested in seeing a narrow fix to address the reimbursement rates and have been clear this is something that I would sign when it gets to my desk,” Gov. Whitmer said.