On June 20, by a bipartisan 17-0 vote, the Michigan House of Representatives’ Insurance Committee favorably reported House Bill 4449, MAC-developed legislation designed to level the playing field for chiropractic patients in Michigan’s auto no-fault statute. HB 4449 is a common-sense bill that ends the ability of auto no-fault insurers to refuse to reimburse licensed chiropractic physicians for lawfully delivered services that they already cover and reimburse to other providers. This inequity forces patients to pay out of pocket, go without the needed service, or seek riskier and more expensive care, often including dangerous drugs and surgical intervention.
Despite organized opposition from Michigan’s auto insurance lobby (Insurance Alliance of Michigan, State Farm, and the Michigan Chamber of Commerce all opposed our bill at the hearing), all 17 members of the Insurance Committee voted in favor of the bill.
The bill now continues its journey through the committee process. Under the new House committee structure instituted for the 100th Michigan Legislature, once a bill is favorably voted out of a committee, it goes before one of four committees tasked with performing one last review before the bill can move on to the full House of Representatives for consideration. This “dual review” process is designed to improve debate, analysis, and accountability.
After the Insurance Committee passed HB 4449, it was referred to the House Ways and Means Committee for final review before it can move to the full House of Representatives for consideration. We expect insurance industry opposition to really ramp up now that the bill has passed the Insurance Committee, so it is critical that you get involved – TODAY! (See below for more information.)
To everyone who contacted your state representative regarding HB 4449, thank you! Your efforts were definitely felt in Lansing! A 17-0 committee vote is a great victory, and your efforts were a major factor in making it happen!
Coincidentally, the Michigan Legislature ended its spring session just hours after the Insurance Committee vote on HB 4449. Tentative session days scheduled for July and August are expected to be non-voting days, as legislative leaders continue to negotiate with the Governor’s office on such topics as the 2019-2020 state budget and a potential road funding package. So, it’s possible that the legislature won’t be back in regular session until after Labor Day.
What YOU Can Do To Stay Involved!
With House members back in their districts for the summer, now is a great time to meet them to talk about the bill in your local community. Most House members hold regular office hours or coffee events in their districts, giving constituents an opportunity to voice their opinions and concerns regarding legislative issues. It may also be possible to set up a one-on-one meeting with your state representative at his district office or other location.
In-district opportunities allow lawmakers to interact with their constituents when they are removed from the many demands on their time – committee hearings, floor votes, etc. – when they are in Lansing. These face-to-face meetings add incredible value to the advocacy process.
If you are interested in meeting with your state representative at an in-district function, contact MAC Government Relations Director Carl Alden at (517) 367-2225 or firstname.lastname@example.org, and he will assist you with talking points, strategies to employ when talking to your lawmaker, etc.
And, we still need everyone to email their state representative and ask him or her to vote yes on House Bill 4449 when it comes before them.
To send an email to your state representative, just click on the Legislative Action Center icon above. Once there, “Take Action” under “Contact Your Legislator About Ending Discrimination in Auto No-Fault.” It’s fast, easy, and will make a major difference.
Phone calls are also an extremely effective form of advocacy communication.
We have prepared talking points if you want to call your state representative directly. Click on HB 4449 Talking Points to obtain a copy of the talking points. Click HERE to determine your state representative.