Horn supports Senate plan to reform auto no-fault

LANSING, Mich. — State Sen. Ken Horn on Tuesday supported legislation aimed at reducing Michigan’s out-of-control insurance rates.

“I wrote my first reform bill in 2007 and the mood was different back then,” said Horn, R-Frankenmuth. “We’re seeing the system continue to spiral out of control and support for reform is growing. The time to do something about this is now.”

Michigan’s no-fault law was originally approved in the 1970s under the promise of savings and a reduction in lawsuits. In that time, the state of Michigan has seen quite the opposite.

The main themes in Senate Bill 1 are reducing rates through more transparent medical care, allowing drivers to have a choice in picking their coverage, and combatting fraud.

Currently, all motorists in the state are legally required to carry costly, one-size-fits-all PIP coverage, which pays for uncapped medical expenses resulting from injuries sustained in an auto accident. The legislation would eliminate the PIP requirement as it currently exists and allow drivers over the age of 62 the option of allowing Medicare or their other health care benefits to cover medical costs. It would also give younger drivers the ability to choose an amount of coverage that suits their needs and budget — providing savings that would correspond to the chosen benefit level.

“We cannot have people in Michigan, the home of the auto industry, being priced out of driving,” Horn said. “We need to give people a choice. Maybe they drive a clunker instead of a new car, maybe they have health insurance through their job, or maybe they simply can’t afford a premium benefit package like they’re currently forced to pay for.”

The bill also includes language aimed at providing greater transparency and equity in health provider billing practices; cracking down on unnecessary medical treatments; reducing the system’s susceptibility to lawsuits, fraud and conflicts of interest; and cutting down on the number of uninsured drivers through more affordable rates.

“In the past, there has always been an excuse to vote no,” Horn said. “With rates rising, the catastrophic claims fund raising their assessment fee, and the cost of medical care skyrocketing, those excuses just don’t apply anymore. We need to do something about this. The system is failing Michigan families.”

SB 1 will now move to the House of Representatives for further consideration.

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Editor’s note: A print-quality version of the above photograph is available by clicking on the image or by visiting the senator’s website at www.SenatorKenHorn.com. Click on “Photos” under the In the News tab.

Photo caption: State Sen. Ken Horn, R-Frankenmuth, leads the Senate on general orders Tuesday afternoon prior to Senate passage of the long-awaited no-fault reform legislation introduced earlier this year.