Analysis: Kansas insurance chief isolated within GOP

Sandy Praeger is approaching her final year as Kansas insurance commissioner with a national reputation for expertise on health care issues and a lengthy, unbroken string of election victories as a Republican in a GOP-leaning state.

But Praeger acknowledges that she’d have trouble emerging from next year’s GOP primary.

The reason is the unusual niche she’s carved for herself within the GOP on health care issues. She argues that the federal health care overhaul championed by President Barack Obama and his fellow Democrats was a positive step that could help millions of uninsured Americans and that, even with the problems with its administration, it’s an improvement.

Praeger is not seeking re-election next year and will have to step down in January 2015, after 12 years as the state’s insurance regulator.