ST. PAUL, Minnesota (AP) – New Hampshire Sen. Bob Clegg will take time off from campaigning for the 2nd District’s GOP nomination to speak at a forum on obesity being held this week in conjunction with the Republican National Convention.

Clegg lost over 100 pounds after having bariatric surgery at his own expense. He sponsored a new law that requires New Hampshire health insurers to offer the procedure as an option in treating diseases and ailments caused by obesity. The law requires patients to pass a number of medical and psychological hurdles first.

Health insurers opposed the measure. They argued the mandate could result in higher premiums.

Clegg and supporters said the procedure can cure diabetes and other ailments that cost insurers more over time. They also argued that excluding morbid obesity from insurance coverage is no different from excluding coverage for cancer, heart disease or multiple sclerosis.

The forum is Tuesday afternoon.

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