The Buzz

Praeger endorses Democrat for KS insurance commissioner

Sandy Praeger, a moderate Republican who has guided the Kansas Insurance Department for 12 years, on Tuesday endorsed a Democrat, Dennis Anderson, to succeed her.

“He is the best candidate for insurance commissioner,” Praeger said. “The people in our department for the last 12 years have worked so hard placing good public policy over politics.

“That’s why I think it’s just so important that we have an insurance commissioner who will be dedicated to good public policy. So, I’m happy to endorse Dennis to be our next Insurance Commissioner.”

Anderson, like Praeger, favors an expanion of Medicaid to cover more poor Kansans.

In a news conference Tuesday morning at a Topeka retirement community, Anderson said the health care compact that Gov. Sam Brownback signed in August would “put in danger” the Medicare benefits of nearly 450,000 elderly Kansans. Under the compact, Anderson said the federal benefits of senior citizens would be placed under Brownback’s control “to do with them as he sees fit.”\

He and Praeger both oppose the compact.

“Just as Sandy Praeger did, I want to keep politics and special interests out of the Insurance Department,” Anderson said. “This office is not about the person holding the title — it’s about the people we represent.”

Anderson faces Republican Ken Selzer, a CPA with 30 years experience with the insurance industry, in November.