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Politicians pushing No Fault reform got $250K from insurance industry

Campaign contribution data shows House Insurance Committee Republicans who favor No Fault car insurance reform have received $253,075 from insurance industry

Insurance Industry

Today the House Insurance Committee reconvenes this morning to hold its second hearing in two days on House Bill 5013, the auto No Fault insurance reform plan backed by Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan and House Speaker Tom Leonard (R-DeWitt) and House Insurance Committee Chair Lana Theis (R-Brighton).

Ten days after Theis formally introduced HB 5013 on September 26, 2017, and two days after the bill’s first hearing, the auto No Fault reform plan is getting a second hearing. Theis hopes the bill will be voted out of Committee to be considered by the full Michigan House of Representatives.

So, why’s this happening?

I have a theory. It has something to do with foxes guarding the henhouse.

Maybe it’s because the House Speaker and the eight Republicans on the House Insurance Committee who have already voiced their support for HB 5013’s No-Fault reform plan have received $253,075 in campaign contributions from the insurance industry.

This is not a rate relief bill. It’s not a pro-consumer bill. It’s certainly not a civil rights bill. It’s an insurance company-written bill. This bill reduces the auto insurers exposure from $550,000 today (everything after that goes in to the Michigan Catastrophic Claims Association), and reduces that $550,000 to just $25,000 for those who pick the lowest cap amount. Theis has already admitted that people who select the $500,000 and unlimited No Fault cap amount likely won’t see any savings at all.

This horrendous bill also makes it far easier for insurance companies to deny and cut off No Fault benefits, and has a number of other boondoggles written into the bill for insurance companies such as no MCCA transparency, a new fraud authority that exempts insurance companies and only looks at auto accident victims, and harsh restrictions on attendant care.

If it’s passed into law, this bill will make Michigan’s No Fault insurance companies rich beyond their wildest dreams.

Which means, of course, the insurance industry will have even more money to spend on campaign contributions in the future to sway politicians to pass bills with even more boondoggles for the industry.

How was the insurance industry’s $250K in donations divided up among the politicians in whose hands the fate of Michigan’s No Fault car insurance now rests?

 Here are the numbers as to who got what from the insurance industry:

  • House Speaker Tom Leonard (R-Dewitt) has received $104,275 in campaign contributions from the insurance industry since 2011. Along with Mayor Duggan, Speaker Leonard is one of the architects of HB 5013.
  • House Insurance Committee Chair and sponsor of House Bill 5013 Lana Theis (R-Brighton) has received $27,900 in campaign contributions from the insurance industry since 2013.
  • Curt VanderWall (R-Ludington), who is Majority Vice-Chair of the House Insurance Committee, has received $13,500 in campaign contributions from the insurance industry since 2016.
  • Tom Barrett (R-Potterville) has received $74,400 in campaign contributions from the insurance industry since 2013.
  • Hank Vaupel (R-Fowlerville) has received $16,750 in campaign contributions from the insurance industry since 2013.
  • Joseph Bellino (R-Monroe) has received $1,000 in campaign contributions from the insurance industry since 2015.
  • Michele Hoitenga (R-Manton) has received $3,000 in campaign contributions from the insurance industry since 2015.
  • Beau LaFave (R-Iron Mountain) has received $9,000 in campaign contributions from the insurance industry since 2015.
  • Jason Wentworth (R-Clare) has received $3,250 in campaign contributions from the insurance industry since 2016.

(Sources: Michigan House Republicans website; Michigan Campaign Finance Network’s “Donor Tracking: Who’s Funding Your Representative”)

This entry was tagged Tags: campaign contributions, insurance industry, MCCA, Michigan Catastrophic Claims Association, Michigan No-Fault reform
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Blog Author Steven M. Gursten
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