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crash survivors protesting

Recently, many people gathered at the Capitol Lawn, demanding action on Michigan’s care crisis. The protest aimed to support the car crash survivors and healthcare workers impacted by the 2019 changes to Michigan’s no-fault auto insurance law.

Senators Sarah Anthony and Mary Cavanagh announced a set of bills to overcome the weaknesses of Michigan’s 2019 no-fault auto insurance. In lieu of this, the reimbursement rates for catastrophic care were limited, while the attendant care provided by family members was restricted by 56 hours. Read on to delve into the consequences that survivors are facing, their conditions before the changes and now, and how the victims battle the situation.

During the rally, Cavanagh said, “The intent behind the bill in 2019 was to establish fair and sustainable cost to care and a pathway to affordability, not to stifle access and limit both the quantity and quality of care. We must live up to our promise to Michigan drivers that they will have access to much-needed care if they are ever in an accident.”
In the demonstration, the speakers threw light on the impact that the 2019 changes had on both survivors and healthcare services.

One of the cases is that of Amber Marcy, who was left quadriplegic in a car accident when she was 15. Marcy mentions that in her condition, life was not at all easy, and a full-time caregiver was something she wanted to give meaning to her life.

At 23, Marcy was diagnosed with severe anxiety and depression and was hospitalized. She received only four hours of attendant care in a day and was alone then. Later, she was told that with her insurance, she could take additional services of attendant care. Marcy mentions that on receiving the additional care and the required therapy, she could lead her life to the fullest and volunteer in the community.

However, as per the changes to the auto no-fault law in 2019, Marcy was no longer allowed to avail of physical or massage therapy, which was crucial to her well-being. Marcy added that while finding health care was already difficult, it became almost impossible with insurance companies not reimbursing the home health services at reasonable rates.

A study published by the Michigan Public Health Institute in 2022 states that the no-fault insurance changes led to around 6587 patients being discharged as they were under the insurance-funding scheme. In addition, it resulted in job losses of over 4000 healthcare workers while closing down 10 businesses.

There are also legal consequences related to these situations, which you can gain insight into by having a consultation with a San Francisco car accident lawyer.

Anthony said, “In 2019 we sat in these halls of power and were lied to. We were told that rates would be reduced. We were told that there would be no interruption of care. And the politicians who were in charge lied to us and told us that there would be no impact on the men and women and children who line this Capitol lawn today.”

In a decision involving Andary V. USAA Casualty Insurance Company, the Supreme Court declared that the 2019 changes would not apply to cases of caregivers and health services pertaining to the period before the new law came into effect.

This ruling was a blessing in disguise for Marcy, who could now continue with the physical therapy which she said she had stopped during the last two years.

Marcy said, “In 2019 we sat in these halls of power and were lied to. We were told that rates would be reduced. We were told that there would be no interruption of care. And the politicians who were in charge lied to us and told us that there would be no impact on the men and women and children who line this Capitol lawn today.”

She added, “I volunteer as a peer mentor at Mary Free Bed. It has become really difficult as my sole responsibility is to instill hope in newly injured victims as they face an entirely different life. Without caregivers, therapies, and other absolute necessities, they will never thrive because they will spend their entire life simply trying to survive.”

Despite all the struggle, Marcy said that Cavanagh and Anthony’s bills were a ray of hope for her and other survivors. She said, “I’m asking all lawmakers to support these bills and end the unnecessary suffering for all of us. We should all be one of the lucky ones.”

The Senate Committee on Finance, chaired by Cavanagh, is planning to consider the bills on Wednesday.

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