Capitol and Community Updates
I hope that you had a happy Halloween and didn’t get too chilly trick-or-treating. I was thrilled that I was home from Lansing in time to pass out candy to trick-or-treaters — some of my younger constituents!
Though the temperatures are dropping, some issues in the Michigan Legislature have been hot — mainly, auto no-fault. Please keep reading to learn more about this critical issue.
Of course, I have also included information about my upcoming in-district events, fun things happening in our communities and helpful resources. As always, please don’t hesitate to contact my office and me with any questions, comments, concerns, or suggestions at (517) 373-0828 or email@example.com.
I still have quite a few community events on my schedule for the rest of the year! Please feel free to come to any of the below town hall or coffee hour events to learn more about my work in the Michigan Legislature.
Energy Efficiency and Sustainability Town Hall
Join me and a panel of experts to discuss energy efficiency, renewable energy options and payment assistant programs to make sure you can keep your bills down and homes warm this season.
Thursday, Nov. 9
Saline District Library, Brecon Room
555 N. Maple Road
Whitmore Lake Coffee Hour
Thursday, Nov. 30
Peaberry Bean & Beats
152 Barker Road
Scio Township Coffee Hour
Monday, Dec. 18
Coffee House Creamery
3780 Jackson Road
Auto No-Fault Reform
My past e-newsletters have talked a lot about the efforts in the Michigan Legislature to reform our auto no-fault system and the high rates we have to pay. I’ve been proud to work across the aisle on a sound policy package that takes meaningful steps to reduce our auto insurance rates while protecting the comprehensive standard of medical care we receive should we be the survivors of catastrophic car accidents. This plan is called the Fair and Affordable No-Fault Reform plan.
Here in Michigan, rather than having to go to court or rely on Medicaid to cover the cost of our medical care in such unfortunate circumstances, we are currently covered under auto no-fault for good quality care for life.
Unfortunately, House Bill 5013 was a short-sighted approach to cut rates on parts of our auto insurance policies that would have capped coverage for drivers who opt out of the lifetime medical care option. They could instead choose policies that only cover $25,000 of medical care after you leave the hospital, which, for those in catastrophic car accidents, generally doesn’t cover more than a few weeks.
And, if you were hit by a drunk driver, or a sleepy semi-truck driver for a large corporation, you would still not be able to sue for your medical or wage losses.
What happens after that? Those folks will have to rely on their own savings to pay for care not covered by their health insurance, and then will be forced onto Medicaid, shifting costs onto our state budget of nearly $80 million over 10 years.
Many of my colleagues on both sides of the aisle feel that such an approach will leave some drivers without responsibility for their actions; not actually address some of the other tricks insurance companies use to raise rates, such as ZIP code, level of education and other factors unrelated to driving history; fail to make substantial reductions to our auto insurance rates; leave many accident victims who had more limited coverage high and dry when that coverage runs out; and shift costs of medical care from insurance companies to a government entitlement program.
That’s why we voted against HB 5013. When put up for a vote in the House of Representatives on Thursday, HB 5013 failed. Now we can focus on the Fair and Affordable No-Fault Reform plan and work together to cut rates for all Michigan drivers without cutting care. Contact my office if you’d like to learn more about this plan.
What To Do In HD 52
Family Game Day in Saline
This week was International Games Week. There’s still time to celebrate! Take the family down to the Saline District Library’s Brecon Room between noon and 4 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 4, for some board game fun. No need to register — just drop in.
Getting Health Care Coverage
Open enrollment for the federal health care exchange began Nov. 1. Unlike previous years, open enrollment this year will end on Dec. 15. That leaves less than a month and half to get covered! If you get your insurance through the marketplace, or will be uncovered by your current insurance for any reason next year, don’t forget to visit healthcare.gov to shop around and enroll before it’s too late.
To get help enrolling, go to healthcarecounts.org. Their webpage has a whole list of agencies right here in Washtenaw County that can help you navigate Medicaid, Medicare, the federal exchange, MIChild and insurance offered through your employer to find out what might be best for you and your family. You can also call to make an appointment to talk by calling (734) 544-3030.
As always, I hope you have found this information helpful.