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Hearings to open on no-fault bills

The state Capitol building in the winter.

Legislative hearings are expected to begin this week on two bills supporters say would fix problems with Michigan’s 2019 auto no-fault insurance law.

Advocates say the bills would improve access to medical care and make services more affordable for car crash survivors with catastrophic injuries. Those changes are meant to address the effects of a 2019 law signed by Governor Gretchen Whitmer. The law has proven controversial as thousands of patients have lost coverage and patient advocates say at least 14 people have died. The insurance industry says it saves ratepayers money.

The Senate Finance, Insurance, and Consumer Protection Committee is expected to take testimony Wednesday on the bills.

Advocates have been holding weekly rallies at the state Capitol for years, demanding similar changes to the no-fault law.

Whitmer has not endorsed the plan but has said she’s willing to look at possible improvements to the law. Patient advocates have called for changes while the Insurance Alliance of Michigan has warned tinkering with the fee structure could make auto coverage unaffordable for many drivers.

Rick Pluta is Senior Capitol Correspondent for the Michigan Public Radio Network. He has been covering Michigan’s Capitol, government, and politics since 1987.
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