Kansas Insurance Commissioner Sandy Praeger has picked the man she wants as a successor, and he’s in a different political party.
Praeger, a Republican, endorsed Democrat Dennis Anderson over Republican Ken Selzer on Tuesday.
Praeger, a moderate, was first elected insurance commissioner in 2002. She has frequently clashed with Gov. Sam Brownback, and she endorsed Democrat Paul Davis in the governor’s race earlier this year.
Praeger was vocal in her opposition to a health care compact bill, passed by the Legislature and signed by Brownback this year, which commits Kansas to join a compact with other states that would be separate from the Affordable Care Act if it can get congressional approval.
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She contended the compact also would give the state the power to take over Medicare. She cited Anderson’s opposition to the compact as one of her reasons for endorsing him.
“The people in our department for the last 12 years have worked so hard placing good public policy over politics,” Praeger said in a statement. “That’s why I think it’s just so important that we have an insurance commissioner who will be dedicated to good public policy.”
Anderson, an Overland Park resident, owns a business that trains insurance providers on licensing and regulations.
“This compact would put in danger the Medicare benefits of nearly 450,000 Kansas senior citizens,” Anderson said, noting the compact would allow state officials to make changes to Medicare.
Selzer could not be reached for comment late Tuesday afternoon.