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Fiorina is hospitalized for infection

Republican U.S. Senate nominee Carly Fiorina, who was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2009 and given a clean bill of health last fall, was admitted to a hospital Tuesday for treatment of an infection that her aides said was related to her reconstructive surgery this summer.

The campaign disclosed few details about her diagnosis and did not say where she was treated, but said she would remain hospitalized overnight. Aides said she hopes to be back on the campaign trail within a few days.

Fiorina’s chief of staff, Deborah Bowker, said in a statement that Fiorina had come down with the infection Tuesday morning and was being treated with antibiotics. The former Hewlett-Packard chief executive, who is challenging three-term Democratic Sen. Barbara Boxer, had planned stops in Riverside and Coachella on Tuesday.

“The doctors tending to her care will observe her overnight and are taking every precaution to ensure that she can return to her busy campaign schedule,” Bowker said in a statement Tuesday evening. “Carly is thankful for all of the prayers and encouragement she has received today from family, friends and supporters. She is anxious to get back on the campaign trail later this week and is very much looking forward to a victory on Nov. 2.”

Earlier, Bowker described Fiorina as “upbeat” and said doctors expected a “quick and full recovery.”

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Neither campaign planned to alter its advertising strategies as a result of Fiorina’s hospitalization.

“We wish Carly Fiorina a speedy recovery and hope she is able to return to her normal schedule soon,” said Boxer campaign manager Rose Kapolczynski.

After her breast cancer diagnosis in February 2009, Fiorina was treated with chemotherapy, radiation and a double mastectomy. She often mentions her personal experience with the disease on the campaign trail while advocating for the repeal of President Obama’s healthcare legislation, which would extend health insurance coverage to some 32 million Americans over the next decade and ultimately prohibit insurance companies from turning away Americans based on preexisting conditions.

Although Fiorina has said she would support a limited role for government in subsidizing insurers who cover those with preexisting conditions, she has argued that Obama’s legislation is too expensive and could diminish the quality of care in America. She often expresses concern that the healthcare plan would rely on Medicaid to expand coverage to low-income people. She says that Medicaid “cannot handle the influx of patients that they are being asked to deal with.”

Instead, she has said lawmakers should seek to limit frivolous lawsuits while working to encourage competition among insurers by allowing them to vie for business across state lines. Consumer advocates believe such deregulation would lower the standards of protection that many states require insurance companies to offer.

Throughout the campaign, Boxer has highlighted some of the most immediate effects of the Obama healthcare bill, including a provision that bars insurers from denying coverage to children because of illness or a preexisting condition.

maeve.reston@latimes.com


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