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Steven Gursten
Steven Gursten
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Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder a candidate for President?

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Gov. Rick Snyder is running for re-election, but putting the auto insurance industry before voters makes us question if he’s the right choice

Gov. Rick Snyder

First, what’s with the scuba suit?

We don’t really get it, but Gov. Rick Snyder announced that he’s running for re-election for Michigan voters in a commercial during  the Super Bowl – in a scuba suit.

Here’s the confusing ad.

This ad coins Snyder as “One Tough Nerd” and the “Comeback Kid,” touting that under Snyder’s leadership, Michigan has come back to thrive from its place of economic hardship.

And this type of talk has some Republican political consultants even saying he’d be a strong pick for president of the United States in 2016.

But all of this glosses over some very disturbing mistakes that Gov. Snyder has made here.

The biggest concern is the discrepancy between how the ad touts him as putting the needs of voters first, and his actions as Governor. And no single issue better illuminates this than his actions in putting the wish-list created by Michigan’s insurance companies ahead of everyone else – including Michigan drivers.   In a recent blog post about GOP mumblings of Snyder as a possible 2016 Republican presidential candidate, I discuss how Snyder is pushing hard to enact a series of changes to Michigan’s 40-year-old No Fault auto insurance laws — at the urgings  of the deep-pocketed insurance industry.

I can’t think of a better example of the dark side of politics. Or for that matter, a politician cynically acting at the behest of a powerful special interest group and against the best interests of the public good.  In fact, Snyder is doing the exact opposite for Michigan than he says in his commercial: “Tough decisions for the right reasons.”

While Snyder portrays himself as a business-minded “nerd,” he has acted just the opposite.  A business person gets the data and the facts and then lets the information drive his decision making. Gov. Snyder has done virtually nothing to get the numbers – including just how profitable Michigan’s auto insurance industry is – before agreeing to push for No Fault reforms at the insurance industry’s urgings.

Michigan’s No Fault law provides invaluable medical care and benefits to people seriously injured in automobile accidents. Snyder’s proposed HB 4612  would cap medical benefits and leave injured crash victims without the care they need to recover.  This would shift the financial burden of medical benefits to  taxpayer-funded Medicaid – instead of with the insurance industry that’s charged to provide the coverage in the first place. For more information, take a look at my blog post, “No Fault reform’s cap on medical benefits could cause $630 million cost-shift to taxpayers, House report shows.”

Much of what Gov. Snyder is proposing  would devastate thousands of people who are catastrophically injured in auto accidents and who need life-saving medical care for spinal cord injuries and traumatic brain injuries.

And all for what? Michigan drivers are being promised only a one year savings of roughly  $125  on their auto insurance in the first year, should proposals such as HB 4612 pass. But with other fees and assessments, auto insurance rates will likely rise under Snyder’s “reform” plan.

Because of this, I believe Snyder is not a the right man to for governor of the state of Michigan – and certainly  not for the presidency of the United States.

Related information:

Graphic: An open letter to Gov. Snyder on Michigan No Fault “reform”

14 truths about No Fault “reform” in Michigan

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  1. david mittleman says:
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    Steve is right, we can do better…lets give Mark Schauer a chance and keep the best auto no-fault system in the country here in Michigan…great post Steve, thank U