Skubick: MCAA wants to continue raising insurance fees in secret

Skubick: MCAA wants to continue raising auto insurance fees in private

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By Tim Skubick
FOX 2 Political Analyst

LANSING, Mich. (WJBK) -- Well here's a shocker. One of the most secretive entities in state government has decided to appeal a court ruling that would have forced it to let a little sunshine into its house. It much rather prefers to keep the shades drawn.

The reference here is to the Michigan Catastrophic Claims Association (MCCA) which is about as obscure as it gets around here, but yet this little operation hits you in the pocket book. It sets fees on your car insurance policy to raise money that pays the medical expenses of 13,000 severely injured motorists not covered by the state's no fault law. The fee hovers around $100 a year or so.

Normally when an agency raises fees, the media and public watch. If the MCCA has its way there will be no watching and all attempts inside and outside the legislature to reveal the data have failed miserably.

Enter local Judge Clinton Canady III who ruled recently that the books should be opened under the state's Freedom of Information Act. When the decision came out, in a surprise statement the MCCA director hinted that there might already be a way to do that. Problem solved.

Not quite.

That glimmer of hope was dashed when the MCCA, composed of insurance executives and no public members, decided to appeal in yet another attempt to keep the public out.

The association argues if all this accident data gets into the public mainstream it will disrupt the competitiveness of the insurance industry.

But others argue how can one tell if the MCCA is making justified decisions without any oversight.

This is basically a debate over taxation without representation without public debate or input. Why the legislature created this beast in the first place, using the Soviet Union model of government, has folks still scratching their heads.

But it is what it is and the MCCA pleads with the courts to maintain the status quo.  Apparently the shades in their office only move in one direction...down.

Notes:
Michigan is the only state that offers unlimited lifetime medical benefits for people seriously injured in car accidents.

The MCCA is a private, nonprofit association created by state law in 1978. All insurance companies that write auto insurance in Michigan have to be members.

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