Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Health advocate enters race for Georgia insurance chief | Political Insider



A prominent Democratic health advocate entered the
race for Georgia’s open Insurance Commissioner seat on Tuesday with a
pledge to serve as a compassionate voice for consumers, sensing an
opportunity to flip a down-ticket office that’s been held for decades by
Republicans.


Cindy Zeldin, the executive director of Georgians for a Healthy
Future, is the first high-profile Democrat to announce a bid to succeed
Republican Ralph Hudgens. The two-term Republican said Monday he would not run for another stint in office.


“For too long, the office hasn’t been focused on the consumers,” said
Zeldin. “The people need a champion – they need someone who will do
everything to make sure they have insurance options that are fair,
affordable and transparent.”


Zeldin contends the office is too cozy with insurers, and that the
next commissioner should be focused “first and foremost about
consumers.” She plans to step down from her advocacy group, which was
one of the more forceful supporters of Medicaid expansion in Georgia.


Even with an open seat, Zeldin faces a grueling battle. Republicans
have held the office since John Oxendine’s 1994 victory over Democrat
Tim Ryles, and the GOP field is already getting crowded.

Health advocate enters race for Georgia insurance chief | Political Insider
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