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August 14, 2020

Physician candidates to square off in Kansas Senate race

The Senate will gain another physician in the next Congress, as two physician candidates vie for the open Kansas Senate seat in the November general election race.
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After winning the competitive Republican primary race on Aug. 4, Rep. Roger Marshall, MD, R-KS, faces Democratic candidate Barbara Bollier, MD, a retired anesthesiologist and state senator, to succeed Sen. Pat Roberts, R-KS, who is retiring from Congress after serving four terms in the U.S. Senate.

Rep. Marshall had faced a competitive challenger in the Republican primary race in former Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, a polarizing candidate who was considered to be a favorite amongst Kansas primary voters. Kobach, however, lost by a wide margin to Rep. Marshall in the primary race, with 26% percent of the vote to Marshall’s 40%.

Rep. Marshall is an OBGYN by trade and is currently serving his second term in office. His challenger, Democratic candidate Dr. Bollier, is an anesthesiologist by trade who also has political experience having served in the Kansas state legislature and, most recently, in the state senate. Both candidates touted their health care background in their respective primary races and both have signaled that their respective visions on health care policy will dominate their general race elections as well.

AGA has worked closely with Rep. Marshall on several top AGA policy priorities, such as prior authorization reform and has worked to advance H.R. 3107, the Improving Seniors Timely Access to Care Act that would simplify the prior authorization process in Medicare Advantage.

Regardless of the victor, physician representation will rise in the next Senate with either Dr. Marshall or Dr. Bollier joining the only three other physician senators currently serving in the Senate: Sen. John Barrasso, R-WY, Sen. Rand Paul, R-KY, and gastroenterologist and AGA congressional champion Sen. Bill Cassidy, R-LA.

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