PITTSBURG — Candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives Paul Davis visited Pittsburg Thursday for a roundtable discussion with medical professionals. Davis, a democrat from Lawrence is running for Congress in the second district, which Pittsburg is part of, against Republican Steve Watkins from Topeka.
Following the roundtable Davis sat down for an interview about his positions, and how he feels he can help the people of Southeast Kansas.
Davis said one of his priorities is reaching across the aisle to work with Republicans on lowering the cost of medical care and prescription drugs.
“Prescription drug costs are just eating folks alive,” Davis said. “Your average senior citizen is spending about half of their social security on out of pocket health care costs, and that's primarily in the prescription drug arena.
“That is a huge priority for the congress to tackle.”
Davis feels that the prescription drug companies need to answer for those high costs.
“We’ve got to stop these annual double digit increases from prescription drug companies,” Davis said. “We need to ask the drug companies why is it that we as Americans are paying vastly more than most industrialized countries?”
Davis supports importing prescription drugs from Canada in an effort to lower costs for consumers.
“As long as we are making sure they go through the proper safety protocols there's no reason we shouldn’t do that,” he said.
He also sighted concerns about high deductible insurance plans, saying the cost of deductibles keep people from visiting the doctor for preventive care.
Davis said he also supports medical marijuana, citing the progress it has made for people with conditions like seizures.
Davis said he has hope he can work with Republicans to create change for people in Kansas, especially Kansas farmers who are struggling with Trump-era tariffs.
“I’ve actually done this, I’m not just somebody standing up here saying I can do go do it.” Davis said. “I spent 12 years in the legislature. I was very effective on forming bipartisan coalitions on a wide variety of issues. I know how to work well with Republicans of all stripes.”
Davis represented the 46th district in the Kansas House of Representatives from 2003 to 2015, and served as minority leader from 2009 to 2015.
Davis also has concerns about the rising costs of college, and supports medicare expansion on Kansas. He said he feels that unlike his challenger he understands the needs of Kansans, noting Watkins has not lived in Kansas for several years.