MONTAGUE, Mich. — Talks in Lansing are stalled on no-fault auto insurance reform. A Muskegon county man says lawmakers need to begin talks again as soon as possible so he and other survivors can continue to get the care they need to survive.
On quiet days in his Montague home, Mike Harold likes to take on a puzzle. But lately, he's had a hard time keeping his mind quiet.
"If I get three or four hours a night sleep, I'm doing pretty good," he says.
Sometimes he's up late at night, mentally writing letters to local legislators and asking them to look once again at no-fault auto insurance reform, ever since the coverage of his care and other no-fault car crash survivors care was cut by 45%.
"I understand they're not going to change no-fault reform," Harold says. "They're going to keep it. But there's some adjustments that need to be made to it."
Because if nothing changes, he says his life will change for the worse.
"The future scares me," Harold says. "I'm terrified."
He's been paralyzed for the last forty years, but it's only been in the last couple of months that he's had to shell out more than $26,000 to keep his care team coming.
"The car accident was in 1981. I fell asleep at the wheel and crashed," he says. "I depend on others for all my care all my physical needs. (It's) like anything you can imagine -- bowel care, getting out of bed, getting dressed, range of motion, taking care of my body, basically... I've made up that 45% since July 2, but I'm not a rich person. I can't continue to go on like that."
Without reform soon, he says he'll have to cut back on the hours his caregivers come over or hire others if he can find a cheaper option.
"Then you can't find workers because they can work in a fast food place for more than $12 an hour," Harold says.
For now, he's waiting for lawmakers to return to Lansing, to fix the fix. And he hopes those who haven't listened before can change their mind.
"There's some adjustments that need to be made to it. It's basically the 56 hour limitation on family provided care and the 45% reduction," Harold says. "It's very obvious that only people that are against any changes in overall reform. They don't know anybody. There's don't have one family member that has been injured, catastrophically injured in a car accident. If they did, it's a very simple solution. Very simple."
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