Georgia Insurance Commissioner Ralph Hudgens is no friend of the Affordable Care Act, and he recently opened up a new front of attack on an aspect of the law that even many of his fellow Republicans say they like: guaranteed coverage for pre-existing medical conditions.
The video above was taken from Hudgens' appearance last month at the CSRA Republican Women’s Club meeting in Evans and distributed today by the Georgia Democratic Party. Here's what Hudgens said:
"I've had several companies come in and they have said just the fact -- just the fact -- that in the individual market pre-existing conditions have to be covered on Jan. 1, that that is going to double the cost of insurance. And if you don't really understand what covering pre-existing conditions would be like, it would be like in Georgia we have a law that says you have to have insurance on your automobile. You have to have liability insurance. If you're going to drive on Georgia's roads, you have to have liability insurance. You don't have to have collision. You don't have to have comprehensive. You don't have to have rental car or towing or anything else. But you have to have liability.
"But say you're going along and you have a wreck. And it's your fault. Well, a pre-existing condition would be you then calling up your insurance agent and saying, 'I would like to get collision insurance coverage on my car.' And your insurance agent says, 'Well, you never had that before. Why would you want it now?' And you say, 'Well, I just had a wreck, it was my fault and I want the insurance company to pay to repair my car.' And that's the exact same thing on pre-existing insurance."
Along with the video, the Georgia Democratic Party sent along this retort from chairman DuBose Porter:
“These remarks illustrate how callous and out-of-touch Ralph and the Georgia Republican Party have become. It is awful to think you could tell a woman who was just diagnosed with breast cancer that it’s her fault.”
Hudgens already earned national attention for his pledge to do "everything in our power to be an obstructionist" against the law known as Obamacare. In this same speech in Evans, he complained about the attention that remark received, according to the Augusta Chronicle:
“I didn’t realize I was being videotaped and that got on the Internet,” he said. “I never received so many nasty e-mails. I’ve been told that they hope I die. I’ve been told that they hope my children had cancer, just all kinds of things.”