As Bollier patiently breaks down public well being info for her constituents, her potential opponents have been locked in an argument over which one among them least helps transgender rights.
Usually, Bollier’s work as a policymaker with a background in well being reveals up much less in her understanding of medical terminology (although she did casually drop the phrase “phenotype” in our interview) and extra in her explaining why all Kansas ought to have entry to medical care. Her father’s phrases, “Medicine is too expensive. Healthcare costs too much,” rang in her ears as she wrote laws to finish shock billing in Kansas. Bollier’s father was additionally a physician. Her mom was a nurse. Her husband is a physician. Her daughter, Anne Marie, is in class…to change into a physician.
“I became a doctor so I could help people and make their lives better and ultimately as an anesthesiologist give them an experience under surgery where they wouldn’t hurt,” Bollier says. “And I went into public service for the very same reason, and that is to take care of people and make their lives better.”
More than a Democrat or Republican, Bollier’s marketing campaign payments her as “a voice of reason.” In Kansas, which is reliably Republican however typically moderate-leaning, this is sensible. It’s a title that numerous politicians have tried to assert—it’s how conservative publications describe Donald Trump, how the Democratic institution has described Joe Biden, and the way Elon Musk has described himself. “Reason” in politics is subjective. And figuring out as “the voice of reason” signifies that a politician desires to be seen as in some way above politics or not beholden to a specific set of ideologies. That’s not true of Bollier—her intention is to not appear clear of partisan politics however relatively to be constant in her values—ethically spotless.
“What I am most proud of as a woman elected official is that I have always maintained my integrity and always been able to vote for what I know is right,” she says. “I’ve never compromised and I won’t. Sometimes I may be the only person voting a certain way, because it’s what needs to be said and done.” Funding public faculties, increasing Medicare, stopping shock billing—the explanation to do this stuff is just not occasion affiliation, Bollier argues, however as a result of they’re the fitting factor to do.
Announcing that you’ll heal partisan divisions is, paradoxically, often a manner for a politician to say, “Everyone except me is bad.” That’s not Bollier’s factor. “We are called to be in community,” she says. “I’m not trying to be all religious, but I do believe we are called to care for each other in society with dignity and honor.”
That’s a part of what goes so fallacious with horrors just like the police capturing of George Floyd, she says. “We’ve got to start listening to Black Americans and what issues they say need to be dealt with.” Police overreach, she argues, additionally factors to why Medicare and packages like drug rehab facilities should be higher funded—“People should be able to get treatment rather than being incarcerated. Our police need to be able to spend their time protecting against violence and violent offenders rather than being mental health providers.” Politics that offers with individuals violently, that refuse to acknowledge human dignity—that’s simply not frequent sense.
This line of pondering would make Bollier an interesting protagonist in a YA novel, or the type of one that would possibly ship a closing monologue in The West Wing. As a girl politician residing on the farthest jap fringe of Kansas, nevertheless, it’s a recipe for fixed criticism. In 2018, when she endorsed a Democrat for Congress, despite the fact that she was nonetheless a GOP member herself, she was stripped of her position on the Senate health committee—a vital loss for a former doctor. (She says she endorsed the one who was “clearly the best candidate.”) During the first, the spokesperson for Kansans For Life, an anti-choice group, endorsed one among Bollier’s opponents by billing Bollier as “an abortion fanatic.”
She weathers these moments not simply with ab-strengthening workouts, however with a completely different type of muscle: Six girls. A 28-year friendship. They name themselves “Intentionally Being Women Together” (IBWT), they usually’re like a e book membership, Bollier explains, however for the soul. “We take annual retreats to really delve deep into being better people in this world,” she says. “That’s why I’m able to do what I do and run for office—a lot of women shy away from it because of the public exposure and the potential hurt and meanness. And having women who have my back, I just know, ‘I can do this.’”