LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) — The Brain Injury Association group that represents more than 200,000 citizens with catastrophic brain injuries reports that the state’s no-fault car insurance law is pushing about 8,000 citizens out of the current care they were receiving, creating what the group calls “a healthcare crisis.”
“This is an emergency,” said Tom Constand, CEO of the Brain Injury Association. “These are real people suffering at the end of every data point. People are being readmitted back to the hospital. They are people sustaining further injuries due to the lack of care because of the cuts.”
Constand also reports that more than 4,000 jobs have been lost as a result of the law.
The governor signed the no-fault law after working a deal with the GOP leaders, with some Democrats voting no.
“The governor needs to recognize and acknowledge that this is a humanitarian crisis of care,” continued Constand.
Governor Gretchen Whitmer said if lawmakers send her more money for these brain-injured patients, she would sign it.
But both Speaker of the House Jason Wentworth and Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey have refused to do that. Constand alleges the “powerful” industry lobby has convinced them to do nothing.
The lobby group Insurance Alliance of Michigan dismisses the 8,000 person figure in the brain injury report as a “pseudo-survey” and says only 12 patients have complained to the state about the loss of care. It also notes that lawmakers did create a $25 million fund to pay back long term care providers but very few have applied for the funds.
A lawsuit seeking to restore the original level of benefits is headed for the Michigan Supreme Court.