Kansas Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Barbara Bollier on Friday visited the Ford County Feed Yard, just between Ford and Dodge City, on the campaign trail, where she asked how operations ran and talked about her campaign.
"Any time I can meet with anybody to understand what their business is and how to help it, that’s my job," Bollier said. "There will be more things to learn, I’m sure, and the most important thing is developing relationships so we know we can trust one another."
Bollier described herself as a trustworthy individual who is all about transparency and honesty. She said that she is not about the big government agenda and that it is time for Kansans to have a representative in Washington who will listen to them and bring their needs forward.
One of her primary priorities is health care and driving costs down. She said that despite claims, she does not and will not support "Medicare For All" as a mandate, saying she supports a "public option buy-in" that is possibly based on a system like Medicare.
If elected, Bollier aims to bring pharmaceutical prices down by passing a bill that will allow negotiations through Medicare with pharmaceutical companies.
She likens this to how and why Canadian drug prices are cheaper, saying that it is because they negotiate drug pricing in their country and that is what the U.S needs to do.
As Kansans continue to live with and otherwise deal with COVID-19, Bollier said she is hoping that people will follow the science and data and will follow public health recommendations.
Bollier is supportive of mask mandates in schools and said the power to shut down schools should be left in local hands.
She said that while people want their children in school, they should also want them to be safe, and that includes thinking about what they could bring home contamination-wise.
"As for the rest of us, I think if we’re truly going to love our neighbor, we could wear a mask for our neighbor," Bollier said. "We all just need to work together, and I think that’s what Americans are good at, working together for the good of the people."
Bollier said one of the tragedies of tax cuts implemented by former Gov. Sam Brownback is the money that was taken away from the foster care system.
"There’s a lot of kids in the foster care system that end up as victims for human trafficking," she said.
Bollier said she feels Gov. Laura Kelly is trying to do the right thing to acquire proper funding for the systems that protect children, and she believes funding the foster care system is an ideal deterrent against trafficking.
"One of the things that the U.S can do is not end foster care benefits once someone in the system turns 18 and that they need more enhanced opportunities, like support systems, to help prevent them as young adults from being trafficked," Bollier said, citing their vulnerability, as not many people are ready to go out into the world at age 18, especially foster kids.
"I was a member of the Kansas Child Welfare System Task Force that has worked on those very issues, and we can do better, we need to do better," she said. "That doesn’t have to only come from a federal level.
"It can come from a local, state, and federal level, all of the above."
Bollier, a former Republican, said her campaign is supported by 75 elected and formerly elected Republican officials, and she feels that Kansas values are based on neighborliness, good-paying jobs and cooperation.
She acknowledges that COVID-19 has led to the loss of many jobs and incomes for people and their families.
She said more support systems need to be in place so that those people can survive and so the economy can stabilize and, eventually, move forward.
"Specifically, we in Kansas have worked very hard to help people get the educational training and job skill training, that need so they can work," Bollier said. "That’s what we want, people to have the opportunity so they can do the things that they want to be doing in the world."