According to Georgia Insurance Commissioner Ralph Hudgens, a person with a pre-existing condition applying for health insurance is like a reckless driver asking for auto collision coverage: they’re both at fault.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution surfaced video Wednesday of Hudgens’ appearance last month at a CSRA Republican Women’s Club meeting, where the commissioner expressed concern that covering pre-existing conditions on the individual market would double insurance costs.
“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,” Hudgens said. “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 … But you have to have liability.”
“But say you’re going along and you have a wreck. And it’s your fault,” he continued. “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.”
Hudgens told the Journal-Constitution Wednesday that he used a “really poor analogy” in those remarks and had family members and friends with pre-existing conditions.
“It’s not the person’s fault they have a pre-existing condition,” he told the newspaper.
Watch video of the remarks below:
[h/t The Wire]
This post has been updated.
Catherine Thompson is a senior editor for Talking Points Memo in New York City. She came to the site in 2013 and reported on national affairs. Previously, she worked as a research assistant to investigative reporter Wayne Barrett. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.