Michigan’s lifetime auto insurance medical coverage insurance law for motor vehicle accident victims is under debate. Throngs of people assembled at the Capitol to voice their opinions regarding this crucial law that guarantees a lifetime of medical auto insurance coverage for accident victims. As expected, the majority of people were strongly in favor of retaining this law. The people who live in this state would, under normal circumstances, have a chance to challenge the new law through a referendum. Apparently, this is not going to be possible this time round. The bill that is waiting to be passed as law is 42 pages long and has a special section where it has provided an appropriation to the tune of $50,000 that would make sure motorists pick their desired coverage, and effectively put paid to lifetime medical coverage. The money would help the implementation of the statutory changes. Republican Party member, Mr. Peter Lund, said that the appropriated sum would be used to carry out a comprehensive study into the potential repercussions of the legal changes as well as fund a report.
The Michigan Constitution protects money appropriation laws from been challenged via a referendum. To make sure that such measures are effectively implemented, the Michigan legislature approves other bills that allow the money appropriated to be spent. A former state representative, Jim Howell, however, points out that the actual amount of money spent on a report is not important since some lawmakers are unaware of this provision that makes referendums next to impossible for such laws that are passed by the legislature. Representative Howell has had a life experience with the no-fault insurance after his son got involved in a serious car accident that saw him hospitalized and bed –ridden for months. According to Mr. Howell, his son’s full recovery would not have been possible without the full medical coverage that he received from his auto insurance.
Mr. Howell’s experience is the story of many Michigan residents and it is not surprising that most of them are in favor of retaining the old system of things. The question that begs for an answer is how they will successfully surmount the technicality that comes with bills that have money appropriated for them. The state’s legislature is of course in favor of amending this law and the appropriation is by no means an oversight on their part. It clearly sends the message that once it is passed, the new law is meant to stay that way.
In InsureDirect.com’s home state of Pennsylvania, the No-Fault Auto Insurance law was defeated in the late 1980’s. The introduction of PA Act 6 which abolished no-fault auto insurance. Today, there is a mandatory state minimum Bodily Injury, Medical and Property Damage Limit if you want to register and drive a car in Pennsylvania. One you exhaust the medical limit chosen, your health insurance will take over a pay the remained of your auto insurance medical claim. This is the most equitable state auto insurance law.
Michael E. Dortch
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