When I announced my campaign for the U.S. Senate last fall, I was motivated by the need for independence and civility in Washington. Congress was broken. Politicians had become so consumed with partisan fights, they neglected to do the work of the American people.
I entered this race because I wanted to change the tone and work with both parties to make health care more affordable, reduce prescription costs, support agriculture, protect Social Security and keep our country safe.
Those remain my priorities. Yet, so much has changed in the past year.
We’re in the middle of a global pandemic and economic crisis, and sending an independent voice of reason to Washington to represent Kansas families has never been more critical. We need a leader who will listen to both sides, follow the facts, bring people together and solve problems. That’s exactly the approach I’ve had for my entire career.
And it’s why 75 current and former Republican elected officials (and counting!) have crossed over to endorse my candidacy.
I’m a doctor. I went into medicine to improve people’s lives and went into public service for the same reason. I have dedicated my life’s work to my patients, my community, and our state.
During my time in public service, I fought to expand affordable health care. Even before it was popular, I understood that expanding Medicaid would help thousands of Kansans, while also strengthening rural hospitals and our state’s economy. It’s an idea that now has bipartisan support.
I’ve proposed innovative plans to end surprise medical billing and end discrimination of all kinds. And I worked to fully fund our schools, stabilize the budget and keep taxes low. These are the same priorities I will take to the U.S. Senate.
But most importantly, I will always do what is best for Kansans. I have built a reputation as someone willing to stand up to either party if they’re doing the wrong thing for our state. I wasn’t swayed by political pressure — I was motivated by the best interests of Kansas farmers, workers, kids and seniors. I was always willing to work with anyone to get results. And that’s exactly what I’ll continue to do in Washington.
My opponent, Congressman Roger Marshall, has a very different record. We are both doctors, but that is where the similarities end. He voted against bipartisan efforts to let Medicare negotiate lower prescription drugs costs and opposed a bipartisan plan to expand Medicaid, which is key to keeping rural hospitals open. And he has voted against protections for people with pre-existing conditions again and again.
Marshall has repeatedly put his political career before the people of Kansas. Not only has he politicized this pandemic, he pushed conspiracy theories and voted against expanding affordable health care, even in the middle of a pandemic. Meanwhile, he’s going from town to town, only occasionally wearing a mask, meeting with large groups — which just sets a terrible example. His behavior is unacceptable, and it will stall our state’s recovery.
At a time like this, we need a leader who will follow the facts and put politics aside. That is my commitment to you. I’ll put your families first and always be accountable to you. I’ll be an independent voice of reason representing you in the U.S. Senate.
Kansas Sen. Barbara Bollier, D-Mission Hills, is the Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate.