Thursday, July 15, 2010

Stephen Northington: Clarification of Gerry Purcell's Misstatement

Yesterday one of the candidates for Insurance Commissioner, Gerry Purcell, sent out an email accusing three of his opponents, including me, of corruption. While I had hoped that this campaign would focus on the issues that are important to Georgians and not resort to the unfounded allegations and distorted use of facts that we are all so weary of, I do not feel this statement can go unchallenged. In his email he stated:

Believe it or not, a majority of my Republican opponents reject this common sense, conservative solution. Several of them work for insurance interests who don't want more competition, so we should not be surprised

Mr. Purcell calls himself the "Competition Candidate" and is referring here to his repeated statement on the campaign trail that we should look to Alabama to buy our health insurance because they have 21 mandates while Georgia has 45. What he doesn't tell you is that in Alabama new mothers are allowed only a 24-hour hospital stay, health insurance does not cover most preventative care and mammograms are covered every 5 years after age 40 rather than every year. What he really doesn't want you to know is that Alabama is as far from a competition market as you can get - Blue Cross Blue Shield of Alabama has over 90% of the market share, including the self-funded market.

But that is not what I feel must be challenged. There are three candidates for Insurance Commissioner who have an insurance background. Not one of us works for "insurance interests who don't want more competition". We are all small businessmen and independent insurance agents who would dearly LOVE to see more competition in Georgia. We work for YOU not "insurance interests". Don't take my word for it - ask your own Independent Agent how much they hate the limited market. My entire campaign has been based on bringing more competition INTO the State of Georgia - and with it revenue and jobs - rather than focusing on sending business "to Alabama" as Mr. Purcell advocates.

I hereby issue a challenge to Mr. Purcell. We are six days from the election - let's please see if we can get through them without resorting to name calling and false accusations.

If you have any questions about this, please feel free to call me at 770.712.1395 and I will be happy to discuss this or any other issue. AND DON'T FORGET TO VOTE!


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