READY TO LEAD – PREPARED FOR THE CHALLENGES
Georgia needs a Commissioner of Insurance who is pro-business, pro-free enterprise and who makes decisions with liberty and the Constitution as her benchmark. Having an MPA, MBA and JD coupled with my direct insurance regulatory experience, I am ready to lead.
I will work to reduce the size of state government by reviewing all aspects of the Department and make cuts where things are not constitutional or essential and streamline all others – government is not a jobs program.
As the only candidate who has worked at the Department and on behalf of consumers in the private sector for fifteen years, I will make sure Georgia maintains a competitive, free-market insurance environment; one that adequately provides choice and availability to both individuals and companies with appropriate government oversight but not anti-business interference.
I will work with the General Assembly to make certain the Consumer Services Division is fully funded as this vitally important division of the Department is dedicated to helping Georgians resolve disputes with their insurance companies and agents. I will diligently regulate the solvency of insurance companies doing business in our state.
I am committed to keeping property, health, workers’ compensation and life coverages affordable and available to everyone – I will oppose any regulatory action which would limit any person’s insurance options and choice.
THE RURAL GEORGIA HEALTHCARE INITIATIVE
I pledge to continue the Rural Georgia Healthcare Initiative. Through telemedicine, this important privately funded program allows Georgians living in rural areas of the state convenient local access to specialty medical care usually found only in Georgia’s largest metropolitan areas.
I oppose any effort to dismantle the state insurance regulatory system. I will work to bring jobs to Georgia by encouraging insurance companies to become licensed to do business in Georgia, and to move their operations to the state, which can also simultaneously increase competition.
I strongly support Georgia insurance agents and the agent system. Professionally licensed insurance agents are the liaisons with Georgia consumers and there will always be a proper role for qualified agents.
Insurance fraud costs Americans $80 to $120 billion dollars a year. Georgia families pay nearly $1,000 out of their own pocket due to insurance fraud. I will use my legal background to aggressively investigate and prosecute insurance fraud in Georgia.
I will manage the Department as I was raised – with the highest degree of integrity and honesty. No payment from an insurance executive or lobbyist for meals. Equipment used for official state business only. Mandatory disclosure of all travel and expense reimbursements by Department employees including myself.
I will make sure insurance companies address claims promptly and fairly, that you get the service you deserve. I will be on site to manage the crisis to be the bridge between you, the government, and your insurance company when there are disputes.
I will refuse to participate in any Obamacare policies which come across my desk. In the strongest manner possible, I will fight the healthcare and health insurance takeover by the Obama Administration.
FIRE and LAW ENFORCEMENT PARTNERSHIP
Through the State Fire Marshal’s Office, I will cooperate and partner with sheriffs and fire chiefs on arson investigations. I support expanded funding for additional arson investigators, specially trained arson canines to aid in evidence collection, and additional equipment to cover more areas of Georgia to eliminate case backlogs.
Georgia’s healthcare providers are often victims of the insurance process. Providers spend too much time dealing with insurance related paperwork and regulations, fighting to get authorization for procedures and payment for legitimate claims. We must create a more efficient system. I will work with health providers to remove unnecessary and outdated paperwork requirements and regulations. I support tort reform.
SELF EMPLOYED and SMALL BUSINESSES
I will work to stop the discrimination against the self-employed and small business owners as it relates to insurance benefits and coverage.
I will manage the Department to protect military personnel from fraud in life insurance sales and make sure insurance companies offer our heroes suitable insurance products.
I will work with Georgia farmers to make sure they have adequate, fair, and affordable coverage for crops and livestock.
I am pro-life, pro-gun, pro-Fair Tax, pro-Tea Party, pro-business, pro-agriculture and oppose new taxes and fee increases.
Visit my website at www.MariaSheffield.com, contact me directly via my Facebook fan page and follow me on Twitter @mariasheffield