Whitmer talks auto insurance at GR hospital

Grand Rapids

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has been traveling the state to talk about her policies and budget priorities since early March, which often includes a pitch to fix the roads and raise the gas tax by 45 cents a gallon.

But Whitmer had a different message on Wednesday when she visited Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital in Grand Rapids.

Whitmer has made it no secret that she does not like the auto no-fault reform bills passed by the legislature.

“When your asthmatic child can’t breathe, or when your father is having a heart attack, this is where you come,” Whitmer said. “If the legislation gets passed with the swiftness that it is and the thoughtlessness that it is, every one of us is going to pay for that.” 

She says funding for medical cost expenditures are significantly reduced or eliminated in the packages, meaning trauma centers could be in danger of losing funding.

“Zero coverage means exactly that, zero coverage. It means undermining trauma centers like this, the last one going west in Michigan, that everyone on this side of the state depends on,” Whitmer said.

The two bills passed by the legislature to reform no-fault would offer coverage levels much lower than the unlimited payout for catastrophic care that’s currently mandated.

Whitmer and Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey met earlier this week to talk about a resolution.

“We’ve got to sit down and make sure the long-term implications of the decisions that are made protect trauma centers like this,” Whitmer said.

She says more conversations are needed, and she is in no rush to get a fix in place.

“(We need to) make sure that our kids who are in car accidents have the kind of care that they need and are able to show up when they have an accident. That’s why I think it’s important that we get it right. It’s a lot more important that we get it right opposed to moving this week,” Whitmer said.

Neither of the bills passed, one by the House and one in the Senate, have been approved by the other chamber.

That means nothing is on the way to Whitmer’s desk as of Wednesday evening.

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