No Meddling, Please

As no-fault auto insurance debates heat up this fall, two recent articles presented quotes from Michigan Sen. Arlan Meekhof equating the current state effort at no-fault reforms as meddling in transactions, tantamount to price fixing.

no-fault auto insurance

A September 7th Oakland Press article, written by Associated Press reporter David Eggert, reported the following:

“Meekhof, on the Legislature’s first day of session after a summer recess, said he met last week with Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan, who wants a mandated rate reduction of up to 30 percent in a state with the most expensive premiums in the country. Premiums are especially high in his city.

“That’s price fixing,” said Meekhof, who declared the idea “dead” three times. “When do Republicans get in between a private transaction and set what prices are? The market should dictate what they are based on risk and other factors that (insurers) account for.””

Four years ago, Gov. Rick Snyder proposed legislation to cap costs for no-fault auto insurance, but the measure never moved through the legislature. Two years ago, Detroit Mayor Duggan offered a proposal on cheaper health coverage, with medical insurance picking up excessive costs for auto accident outcomes; that also never went anywhere.

Michigan state laws give health care providers a wide berth in charging more for treatment of auto injuries than other injuries, the article mentioned. The insurance industry looks at it differently.

Auto insurance reform is a top priority for Sen. Meekhof, who wants to create a statewide fraud authority, setting limits for uninsured folks injured in car accidents.

A Detroit News article by Jonathan Oosting published on August 31st reported that Michigan’s no-fault auto insurance rates are “among the highest in the nation.” In that article, Meekhof was quoted as saying, “I think it’s difficult for Republicans to get in-between a transaction between two private entities. That’s basically price fixing, so that wouldn’t be at the top of my list.”