Experts say Michigan's "bipartisan success" on no-fault reform is really a "bipartisan failure," as people lose care
When Michigan lawmakers, the mayor of Detroit, and the governor of the state gathered on Mackinac Island on May 30, 2019 to celebrate her signing the just-passed no fault insurance reform bill into law, the mood was almost giddy. It sometimes sounded like a family reunion, as Gov. Gretchen Whitmer praised the fully bipartisan effort to make sweeping changes to Michigan’s auto insurance system. "When we see one another as people, as Michiganders, we can focus on getting things done," Whitmer said. “When we see one another as Michiganders first we are capable of great things, and it doesn't stop today." Governor Whitmer has since asked the state Legislature to fix the law. But Wayne State University Law Professor Wayne Miller, an expert on no-fault, said Whitmer never should have signed it in the first place because she knew — or should have known — that it would have a devastating effect on auto accident patients. He said he and other no-fault experts were called to the governor’s office a day before the vote happened. "We thought we were being called in for an emergency conference, like, 'We’re close to a deal, we want your input and we want you to look at what we’ve drafted.' It was nothing like that," he said. "It was a done deal."Instead of a meeting with the governor’s top negotiator, a staff member handed them a copy of the final bill. Bluntly put, everyone flipped out when they saw what was in it. "We said, 'Oh my God,'" Miller recalled, because they could immediately see that the bill would destroy Michigan’s entire system of care for catastrophic car accident survivors — not just previous survivors, but all those going forward.
October 21, 2021