At 7:00 p.m. on June 30, one of Michigan’s largest home health care companies signed off its 560 employees for the last time.

The next day, Health Partners Inc., based in Bingham Farms, laid off its entire workforce of nurses, nursing assistants, therapists and direct caregivers.

The company has not filed a WARN notice to the State Department of Labor about the mass layoffs because employees worked under different rooftops each day – the roofs of some of Michigan’s most vulnerable disabled residents who were seriously injured in car accidents.

Health Partners Inc.’s entire business has been wrapped around Michigan’s multi-billion dollar medical supply industry treating and caring for catastrophically injured motorists – paraplegics, quadriplegics, people who need a ventilator to keep breathing, and those with traumatic brain injuries.

The bill, which passed Michigan Republican-controlled legislation and signed Democratic Governor Gretchen Whitmer in May 2019, put Health Partners out of business.

And hardly anyone who is not directly affected noticed it.

In any other industry, especially the automotive industry, 560 layoffs at the same company would make headlines.

TV news reporters camped outside the store, waiting to interview staff as they walked out of the building with pink panties in hand.

Instead, this massive job loss received almost no attention.

That’s because it wasn’t caused by market forces, trade policies, or tax incentives waging war with another state.

These job losses were directly caused by lawmakers capping Health Partners providers’ tariffs to 55 percent of insurers for caring for injured motorists in 2019, a payment scheme the family business was unable to adopt.

Make no mistake, this is what this new law is: A scheme by the insurance industry to reduce its financial burden to such an extent that medical service providers have fought over payments in court for decades will just go away.

Health Partners Inc. owner John G. Prosser II’s is one of the auto insurance industry’s sworn enemies.

Prosser literally co-authored a book with his son John Prosser III called “Accident: Michigan’s Insurance Model for America” ​​and had been on a mission to replicate Michigan’s unique flawless system in other states until the insurance industry finally found its way in Lansing .

Auto insurance companies have been pretty brilliant at convincing the Republicans, who control the legislature – and who ran on free enterprise principles – to decimate an entire sector and put people like the Prossers out of business.

And the $ 23 billion still in the Michigan Catastrophic Claims Association bank accounts?

All bets are that insurers will find a way to hit a big chunk of this pie after reducing their burden on paying companies like Health Partners to care for injured drivers.

“They did this to steal that $ 23 billion,” said John G. Prosser II in an interview.

It is not possible for an insurance industry executive to come forward to argue until Wednesday after this column was first published.

MCCA Executive Director Kevin Clinton points to a section of State Law that is, if the assets of the $ 23 billion fund exceed 120 percent of its liabilities, the insurers who are members of the MCCA “any reimbursement they receive (from the MCCA) to the people distribute that insures them “.

Prosser, who has been in home nursing for 29 years, said a sprawling business like his would take time to wind up, even after giving all customers 45 days notice to find new carers or move to nursing homes.

Several other Michigan home health care companies that were more diversified with Medicaid, workers’ compensation, or private payers have been able to – for the time being – absorb the losses from the new health care fee schedule.

In the spring, Prosser said his bankers had torn the company’s line of credit as it became increasingly clear that lawmakers would not reconsider its 45 percent cut in Health Partners’ interest rates.