2016 had no shortage of triumphs and challenges, but I am proud to say CPAN has fought hard and remained true to its original principles set forth when our organization was founded. Together, we advocated in the halls of the State Capitol and fought for justice inside our court system to make sure patients’ access to quality care remained protected under Michigan’s life-saving No-fault Insurance Act.
And while the majority of the year remained relatively quiet on the legislative front, we knew the final months of the lame duck session would be unpredictable and remained vigilant. Our preparation was justified when the Michigan Health and Hospital Association, a founding CPAN member, broke from our coalition in an attempt to broker their own deal with the insurance industry. Thanks to our members’ constant barrage of calls and emails to lawmakers, we were able to prevent another bad piece of legislation from being passed.
If anything, what happened during the 2016 lame duck session has galvanized CPAN’s membership to stay strongly united in its common commitment to find fair, long-term solutions to improving Michigan’s auto no-fault insurance system. And while MHA’s actions resulted in their removal from the Coalition and position on the board, we remain committed to working with them and any other organization that is interested in pursuing fair and balanced legislation.
Another highlight of 2016 came with the Michigan Court of Appeals decision supporting CPAN’s assertion that the Michigan Catastrophic Claims Association (MCCA) is indeed a public body as defined by Michigan law. In that same case, however, the court split 2-1 in determining whether the MCCA should be exempt from the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). As a result, CPAN’s case is back in the Michigan Supreme Court where we hope to have a hearing early in 2017.
Both our legislative and legal efforts are made possible thanks for the generous support of CPAN’s members, which is why it was heartening to see the coalition had three very successful fundraising events in 2016. Our annual golf outing, Survive and Thrive art sale and gala all had record turnout last year.
As we continue our efforts into 2017, there is no shortage of work to be done. I look forward to working with each and every one of you to protect Michigan’s no-fault system and ensure the life-saving benefits it offers remain in place long into the future.