In a message to supporters over the weekend, Mission Hills Rep. Barbara Bollier took Speaker Ray Merrick to task for his unorthodox move to remove her — the only physician — and two other moderate representatives with public health experience from the House’s Health and Human Services Committee.
Saying that “a lot of rhetoric is being spun in Topeka to distract taxpayers from the Speaker’s upheaval of committees,” Bollier told her supporters that she intended to “serve the best interests of our district, not the best interests of Topeka’s special interests.”
Bollier again pointed to her support for the idea of Medicaid expansion in the state as the reason for her ouster:
I have never adhered to a one-size-fits-all answer to the KanCare expansion challenge, but have provided my medical expertise at the negotiating table to craft a Kansas solution to bridge the gap for people without health insurance. Let me be clear: their political gimmicks have nothing to do with Obamacare. They have everything to do with stifling debate so that one person’s agenda can be advanced without question.
I won’t stand for that. I believe the role of the Legislature is to ask questions, weigh the options, and foster a transparent debate on the issues. Taxpayers in our district elected me to do just that, and that is what I will continue to do. The Speaker’s attempt to silence those of us who ask questions should be a red flag to all Kansas taxpayers.
Over the weekend, Bollier filed for reelection as the representative for Kansas’s 21st District. She is the second northeast Johnson County representative to file for reelection. (District 19 Rep. Stephanie Clayton has already put in her paperwork).