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Physician campaigning as Libertarian dad’s running mate in Kansas governor’s race

  • The Wichita Eagle
  • Published Thursday, May 22, 2014, at 6:02 p.m.
  • Updated Thursday, May 22, 2014, at 6:02 p.m.

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Wichita family practitioner Josh Umbehr is running for Kansas lieutenant governor, campaigning as the running mate of his father, Keen Umbehr, the Libertarian gubernatorial candidate.

Umbehr is physician-owner at Atlas MD, a direct care practice that doesn’t take insurance and instead uses a membership model for patients.

For Josh Umbehr, one of the biggest issues is how Kansas physicians can help lead the country toward more meaningful health care reform.

“Whether you’re a Democrat, a Republican or preferably a Libertarian, everyone needs affordable care,” Umbehr said. “Direct primary care is a free market answer.”

The elder Umbehr is a former trash company owner turned lawyer from Alma.

“We weren’t born with silver spoons in our mouths. We’ve worked hard. … I still tell people he’s a trash man – less embarrassing,” Josh Umbehr jokes.

The Umbehrs attended Kansas State University together for their undergraduate degrees starting in 1999.

After his residency, Josh Umbehr started Atlas MD in 2010. He said he hopes that running for office will serve as a megaphone for health care issues, particularly encouraging physicians to embrace the direct care model.

The current lieutenant governor, Jeff Colyer, is also a physician.

Umbehr said he’s excited to run with his father.

“There’s no one else I look up to more than him, and he knows how he wants to help Kansas,” Umbehr said. “How do you not take an opportunity to get that message out to more people?”

Reach Kelsey Ryan at 316-269-6752 or kryan@wichitaeagle.com. Follow her on Twitter: @kelsey_ryan.

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