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Oakland County Exec. L. Brooks Patterson: No Fault is good for Michigan jobs

April 4, 2013 by Steven M. Gursten

Here’s our third video from my recent interview with Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson. Here, Mr. Patterson discusses the importance of Michigan’s No Fault auto insurance system, and how it is good for Oakland County, good for creating high value jobs, and good for Michigan.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with the No Fault “reform” debate, recent proposals backed by the insurance industry include capping No Fault’s medical benefits and dismantling the Michigan Catastrophic Claims Association (MCCA).

The MCCA is the fund that reimburses insurance companies for people who have suffered very serious injuries in automobile accidents and have medical bills exceeding $500,000.  People with these types of catastrophic injuries – most have suffered spinal cord injury or very serious traumatic brain injury from motor vehicle accidents – rely on the MCCA fund for medical care.

Mr. Patterson makes the point that No Fault is also is good for Michigan. Not only does it mean the quality of medical care for all people in this state is far better than states without No Fault insurance, but it also means that insurance companies (that charge a premium for this) pay these claims.  Without No Fault, the entire financial burden is shifted to the taxpayers, as these people are pushed onto Medicaid.  The result is lower quality of care, loss of high valued jobs, and higher taxes for people.

Mr. Patterson turned up the heat on the debate in mid-February, with his “Open Letter” on why  Michigan’s existing No Fault system needs to be preserved and protected.

Here some quotes that Mr. Patterson shared during the video:

  • “The whole [MCCA] fund itself is really a job creator. I’m talking about thousands of jobs in healthcare that’s related to providing this healthcare. But it’s all funded by this private fund. It’s not a state law, taxpayer-funded operation.”
  • “… I think there’s a way, if we’re smart enough and creative enough, to impose a fee on insurance policies. That’s how this [MCCA] fund is generated — this fund is at $14.2 billion — and we’re not dipping into the taxpayer dollars directly for this. I think that’s a win win.”
  • “[No Fault reform is] a quality of life issue. Those people who are benefiting from [No Fault] today, soon they will reach their cap and I doubt they’re going to be grandfathered in. So at some point in time, they are going to shift from the current level of care they get to a “warehouse situation” in a Medicaid-funded state facility. And people who are now providing that healthcare will be unemployed.”
  • “I’ve seen estimates as high as thousands and thousands of jobs that depend upon this [MCCA] fund.”
  • “If you start changing the [No Fault] laws, that might even slow down the development of [Oakland County and Michigan] healthcare as a job provider and I think that’s unfortunate.”

Stay tuned for more videos with Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson on Michigan No Fault

We also discussed the following topics during our interview with Mr. Patterson:

  • How Brooks personally saw Michigan No Fault help car accident survivor and quadriplegic Erica Nader Coulston;
  • And whether No Fault reform would translate into lower auto insurance rates for Michigan drivers.

Those topics with accompanying videos from the March 12, 2013 interview, will be covered in future Michigan Auto Law blog posts.

For more information, click here to read a comprehensive analysis of Michigan No Fault reform and the latest developments.

Related information:

Video: L. Brooks Patterson praises Michigan No Fault

Video: L. Brooks Patterson on how the insurance industry is keeping drivers in the dark

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