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Monday, October 4, 2010

Ralph Hudgens and those pesky mammograms

Ralph "We must stop Octomom before she reaches Jawjuh" Hudgens might have some explaining to do to women voters on the campaign trail. And for that matter, the husbands of women voters who've battled breast cancer.

A YouTube video making the rounds knocks the GOP insurance commissioner nominee for legislation he sponsored in the state Senate that would end the law requiring insurance companies to cover mammograms. The clip includes footage of the nominee — at what appears to be a candidate forum — where he questions why insurance companies should be forced to cover the screenings that can help detect breast cancer before it spreads.

Georgia law requires insurance companies to provide coverage for more than 40 different procedures or treatments ranging from mammograms to prostate cancer screenings. It's a controversial topic, one that often splits political parties (and genders) when it's debated under the Gold Dome. Supporters argue that easy access to low-cost screenings prevents future illness. Critics say it drives up the cost of premiums and customers should be allowed to pick and choose.

It's hard to tell from the video, but Hudgens' comments might have been made during a July 5 forum in Calhoun between the Republican and Democratic insurance commissioner candidates. From the Calhoun Times:


Republican candidate and District 47 State Senator Ralph Hudgens said mandates are the fundamental flaw of the Georgia insurance industry.

“Currently, policies must cover all 45 mandates. Those mandates cover mammograms and pap smears. I don't need those,” said Hudgens. “It's like requiring that customers buy the fully-loaded Cadillac at a car dealership instead of the little Chevy they can afford. We need mandate-free policies, so that consumers can build their own based on what they need.”

Granted, Hudgens could be the victim of tricky editing. We've put in a call with his campaign to ask for more information about the candidate's views.

Hudgens is running against Democrat Mary Squires and Libertarian Shane Bruce on the November ballot.

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