Auchter's Art: What kind of messed up system is this? | Michigan Radio
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Auchter's Art: What kind of messed up system is this?

Jan 18, 2019

The TV program The Good Place is about... Well, actually, it's one of those shows where the less you know at the start, the more enjoyable it is. So for those of you who haven't started or are not quite caught up, I will say only that the term "good place" is more or less a synonym for "heaven."

And this brief anecdote: In a recent episode, several souls arrive in the Good Place, but in a very unorthodox, backdoor sort of way. It appears they have not been detected, and there is some concern that when found they might be kicked out (and sent to the Bad Place).

One of the characters protests the idea, saying, “We’re refugees. What kind of messed up place would turn away refugees?”

This, of course, is some biting social commentary on ongoing U.S. immigration issues, not Michigan's auto insurance rates. But it is what got me started on this week's cartoon. It reminded me of a very similar question I've heard (and said) with equal exasperation: "What kind of messed up healthcare system lets people go bankrupt just because they got hurt?"

In Michigan, if you get hurt in an auto accident, your medical expenses can be covered. And if you are on Medicare, you also enjoy a great deal of financial protection. But that leaves a lot of holes and seems like an awfully random and inefficient way to insure people.

The state legislature is currently looking at ways to reduce auto insurance rates. One perennial target is the MCCA fee (currently $192 per year per driver), which funds the unlimited lifetime coverage for medical expenses resulting from auto accidents.

There are certainly improvements to be made. Greater transparency on how rates are determined would be a great start. But as the legislators consider capping or eliminating the MCCA fee, I hope they are also considering the bigger picture, like fixing the messed up healthcare system.

John Auchter is a freelance political cartoonist. His views are his own and do not necessarily reflect those of Michigan Radio, its management, or its license holder, the University of Michigan.