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Commentary

Auchter's Art: Bad news, good news

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John Auchter
/
Michigan Radio

As part of the auto insurance reform legislation that went into effect last year, payments were reduced for home care agencies serving those severely injured in auto accidents. However, the payments were cut below the cost for those agencies to function, so they have been shutting down operations in Michigan. The remaining ones are expected to close in October and November. Which means, those severely injured and highly immobile individuals are having to face the prospect of losing in-home care and navigating our health care system for help.

As Michigan Radio reported this week, people injured in catastrophic auto accidents, their families, and their home care agency providers came to the state Capitol on Tuesday, hoping to convince Republican Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey to fix the crisis caused by the auto insurance law. But Shirkey said he is still waiting for “data” before he decides if the law needs to be ”tweaked.”

This from a guy who earlier this year tweeted this out to punctuate the GOP's 2021 priorities for a healthier Michigan:

"The #MISenateGOP believe every Michigander deserves the opportunity to live and prosper in a safe, healthy community. We are committed to building on opportunities to give Michigan families and communities greater peace of mind about the future."

Home care agencies will all be closed by November. Bills have been introduced to take action, but no hearings have been scheduled. People are obviously suffering. Some have already died. What kind of data is he waiting for? What does he mean by "tweak"?

The truth is, if we were a civilized country and had functional universal health care, we wouldn't be dependent on our state Legislature and the likes of Mike Shirkey for patches on workarounds. Of course, the likes of Mike Shirkey is why we don't have functional universal health care.

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.

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