On May 8, 2014, Michigan House Republicans introduced House Bill 5558, the purpose of which is to ban customers from being able to sue an insurance company for lying to them. The bill was introduced by state representatives Kevin Cotter of Michigan’s 99th house district, Tom Leonard of house district 93 and Andrea LaFontaine of house district 32.
HB 5558 would amend the state’s Consumer Protection Act of 1976, in order to prohibit consumers from being allowed to sue an insurance company, even if they lie to you about what your policy covers. If passed, the bill would be retroactive to March 28, 2001, meaning that any settlement obtained against an insurance company between March 28, 2001 and now would be null and void.
Why March 28th, 2001?
According to a state representative who was present when the bill was introduced, it came about in response to a recent court settlement in which an unnamed injured veteran sued her insurance company for lying to her about her coverage. She won that case in court and received a $2 million dollar settlement, only half of her $4 million dollars worth of expenses.
House Republicans are pushing a bill (House Bill 5558) this week to amend the Michigan Consumer Protection Act to prohibit a claim against an insurance company if they lie to you. This is because an injured veteran (yes a veteran) won a case where she was lied to about what services she could receive under her insurance contract. This veteran proved successfully in court that the company was deceptive (hard to prove) and received $2 million to cover the over $4 million costs incurred when she was lied to years ago. And hold up, that’s not all of it. They are making this change retroactive, so she and others who won their court case has to pay it all back.
Anyone who believes that Republicans are looking out for their interests is clearly not following along. Over and over they have tried to eliminate Obamacare, not because it’s bad for Americans or bad for America, but because it regulates insurance companies. The ACA keeps private insurance companies from overcharging consumers and denying them services when they need them most.
While Democratic states are prosecuting insurance companies for exploiting customers and misrepresenting the facts about the ACA, in Republican-governed states like Michigan, state reps are giving the insurance industry the green light to exploit their constituents in every way possible.
Michigan Republicans have given up the false pretenses altogether. The introduction of HB 5558 clearly shows that they’ve stopped even trying to pretend that they’re looking out for anyone except their big money donors.