We Close 2021 with Over 31,000 Members Demanding a Fix to No-Fault REform
As the year 2021 comes to a close, we are grateful for the efforts of our members and friend organizations to fix the #MICareCrisis caused by no-fault reform. From an NPR interview to now over 31,000 members, the Michigan Interfaith Coalition continues to grow and will continue to advocate for the removal of the 56-hour cap on attendant care for car crash survivors, and the restoration of pre-2020 rates and fair pay to the providers who care for Michigan’s 18,000 catastrophic crash survivors.
Bonnie Anderson Interviewed by NPR
Urges Faith Leaders to Speak Out on Michigan’s Humanitarian Crisis Created by Auto No-Fault Reform
On November 15, 2021, Bonnie Anderson, founder of the Michigan Interfaith Coalition, spoke to reporter Tracy Samilton of Michigan Radio / NPR News about the need for faith leaders to speak out on the crisis of care created by the auto no-fault reform law.
A high profile lay leader in the Episcopal Church says Michigan auto accident survivors with catastrophic injuries need help from religious organizations.
Thousands of Michiganders are losing care due to the state’s new auto no-fault law, which cuts payments to caregivers by nearly half, forcing a collapse of the long term care provider industry.
Bonnie Anderson is a former President of the House of Deputies of the Episcopal Church. She said the crisis is getting worse by the day.
“I thought that the auto no-fault would be fixed by now,” said Anderson, who is also the mother of a son who was severely injured in a car accident. “I’d hoped it would be fixed by now. But it’s not. It went way too far.”
Many auto accident survivors are now trying to make do with a fraction of the care they had before. Some have lost their overnight home care; others cannot get to doctor’s appointments because insurance companies won’t pay for transportation.
Some survivors who need 24/7 care to survive have been dropped off at hospitals after they lost their home care. In some cases, children are now taking care of injured parents. Many long term care providers are also going into debt in order to stay in business — in some cases, the owners bankrolling the business with their own retirement funds — rather than leave vulnerable clients stranded without care.
Anderson said it’s a tenet common to most religious organizations to help the helpless. She is organizing leaders of synagogues, mosques, and churches to urge the state Legislature to respond to the crisis.
“I want anyone that has leadership positions in their religious organizations to join together and become a coalition for fixing the no-fault reform and helping people that need the help,” she said.
Bills have been introduced in the state House and Senate to fix the law, but Republican leaders haven’t allowed the bills to move forward.
Anderson said she’s shocked that most people have heard nothing about the crisis. Instead, much of the recent media attention on the auto no-fault law has been focused on the refund checks that the Michigan Catastrophic Claims Association plans to pull from its surplus and send to insured drivers, at Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s request.
Michigan Interfaith Coalition Formed
Shortly after NPR published this article, Bonnie got to work, speaking to faith leaders of the Episcopal Church and members of CPAN and MBIPC. The Episcopal Diocese of Michigan, representing 17,000 members, joined the coalition.
More Members Join, Representing Over 31,000 Michigan Voters
The Michigan Interfaith Coalition launched its website (michiganinterfaithcoalition.org), providing a way for other members to more easily join and providing resources for injured persons and their families. Other faith organizations, individuals and friends of the coalition have continued to join. At the end of 2021, the Michigan Interfaith Coalition is representing over 31,000 Michigan voters who demand a fix to no-fault reform. We now enter into 2022 in a strong position to continue our advocacy for the most vulnerable of Michigan’s citizens: auto accident survivors who have lost access to care due to the inhumane changes to auto no-fault law.