33rd District candidates share views on healthcare, Medicaid
Most Republicans and Democrats are split on health care issues, and the candidates for the 33rd District Kansas House seat are no exception.
Republican Tony Bukaty is challenging long-time incumbent Democrat Tom Burroughs in the redrawn district, which formerly covered southeastern Kansas City, Kan., and now covers both Bonner Springs and Edwardsville. In response to a questionnaire prepared by The Chieftain, both candidates listed economic growth and job creation as a top goal if elected and reflected their parties’ beliefs when it comes to Medicaid and the Affordable Care Act.
Bukaty, 36, is an attorney and small business owner, as well as a Bonner Springs High School graduate. He previously ran for the 36th District legislative seat in 2006. He said he wanted to run for the Legislature to “bring an open-minded, listening-oriented approach to the table.”
Burroughs, 57, is retired from the Colgate-Palmolive Co. and has served eight terms in the state Legislature. He said he decided to run again because he is committed to serving the community.
Burroughs said that he opposes Gov. Sam Brownback’s proposal to privatize Medicaid, although it will require more information to determine the best response to the plan.
“The details of the governor’s proposal have yet to be fully vetted before the Legislature,” he said. “Accessibility, quality of care, services/programs, and costs are issues that need to be resolved before implementation.”
Bukaty said he supports the governor’s efforts to find funding solutions “for what has become a very costly program.”
“I would want to study more closely the governor’s proposals, but I think that some version of this proposal will be necessary and unavoidable over time,” Bukaty said.
Bukaty said while the new federal health care act has some positive aspects, he has serious concerns about portions that “have the potential to reduce choice and place burdens on individuals and employers.” He is concerned that the expansion of Medicaid under the act would eventually lead to huge budget burdens in Kansas.
But Burroughs supports implementation of the act.
“Having been found to be constitutional, Kansans can ill afford to be left behind as the Affordable Health Care Act is implemented across the nation,” he said. “Coverage for predetermined conditions and children to the age of 26 are a few of the benefits already implemented and embraced by thousands of Kansans.”