Rep. Todd Announces He Has Cancer, Keeps Treatment Bill Alive

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State Rep. Curry Todd
  • State Rep. Curry Todd
In a scenario which almost seems appropriate for a TV drama, state Representative Curry Todd (R-Collierville) made a dramatic announcement Tuesday in a legislative committee about his private bout with cancer and halted efforts in that committee to kill a bill affecting treatment for his illness.

Todd, a former Memphis policeman who has been an active advocate for numerous positions favored by the current Republican administration, stopped one such n its tracks when he told colleagues at a Commerce Committee hearing that he has a rare form of cancer that could benefit from oral chemotherapy treatments.

His announcement clearly affected the vote of the Committee, which had seemed destined to a reject bill sponsored by Rep. Glen Casada (R-Franklin) and opposed by Governor Bill Haslam and spokespersons for the insurance industry. The Bill would require insurance companies to pay for oral chemotherapy treatments of the sort that Todd’s own condition — macroglobulinemia, a lymphatic cancer — might at some point require.

Testifying against the bill, Sammie Arnold, a lobbyist for the Haslam administration, had said the governor regarded the bill as a bureaucratic governmental “mandate."

Todd responded, ”“I hope and pray he doesn’t have anybody in his family that has cancer, because I’m opposed to what you just said. This is not a mandate, it’s giving people equal treatment to get a drug that other folks haven’t gotten.”

Subsequent to Todd’s revelation, the Commerce Committee deadlocked 13-13 and will apparently reconsider the measure.

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