Weekly reader responses

Sep 30, 2015 at 1:00 am

Stalling out

Last Wednesday, the Mayor Mike Duggan voiced frustrations with the opposition to his D-Insurance plan to lower Detroit's high auto insurance rates, issuing some of his most pointed comments on the issue to date speaking before the Detroit chapter of the National Association of Black Journalists at the Hotel St. Regis. According to the Detroit Free Press, Duggan put much of the blame on the health care industry, which charges exorbitant prices for services covered by the unlimited lifetime medical benefits to accident victims under the state's no-fault insurance law. Steven M. Gursten, an attorney at Michigan Auto Law in Farmington Hills, wrote to critique the plan:

As Matt Helms of the Detroit Free Press reported, Mayor Mike Duggan "blames Detroit's sky-high auto insurance rates on hospitals and other health care facilities that charge dearly for services for people covered by the unlimited lifetime health benefits under Michigan's no-fault insurance law." Duggan called this "'completely immoral.'"

In light of those comments, it seems the time has come for Duggan and backers of his D-Insurance plan to discuss the idea of implementing a truly fair No Fault medical-provider fee schedule to stop health care facilities from (as Mayor Duggan puts it) "charg[ing] dearly" for medical services that are covered by No Fault and paid for by Michigan No Fault auto insurance companies.

Importantly, a No Fault medical-provider fee schedule would accomplish two essential goals: (1) It would meaningfully lower the price of auto insurance for Detroiters by reducing the amounts that hospitals and doctors charge to No Fault auto insurance companies for treating Michigan auto accident victims; and (2) It would accomplish the first goal without capping (as the D-Insurance plan proposes), eliminating, restricting, or otherwise limiting the critical legal protections and No Fault auto insurance medical benefits that our No Fault system currently provides to Michigan auto accident victims.

Additionally, as I noted in my June 15, 2015 blog post "How I would change Mayor Duggan's D-Insurance Plan to actually protect Detroiters," a truly fair No Fault medical-provider fee schedule would also remove a lot of the ugliness and PIP fraud that we all see from a small but growing number of lawyers and law firms; streamline billing for medical providers, doctors and hospitals; facilitate prompt payment and eliminate the need for costly litigation; and eliminate most of the lawyer provider lawsuit industry entirely, as doctors and medical providers would be paid reasonable charges promptly.

It's the end of the world as we know it?

On Thursday, we got a pamphlet in the mail claiming that there was a "a strong likelihood" (we love the way they qualify it) that "the end of the world" would go down on Oct. 7. So Michael Jackman did the responsible thing and shared the pamphlet on our blog. Merri Busch of Madison Heights wrote to tell us why we shouldn't worry:

I regret to inform you that, in fact, the world DID end in 1982 when the planets of the solar system aligned. The current "reality" is the cruel after-life joke of an indifferent Creator.