- Associated Press - Wednesday, April 9, 2014

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) - A Sioux Falls physician running for U.S. Senate in South Dakota says patients and business owners have a great distrust of government intrusion related to the nation’s new health care law.

Annette Bosworth, a political newcomer who operates a Sioux Falls-based private practice called Meaningful Medicine, said she wants to repeal President Barack Obama’s health care law. She favors a system that promotes tax cuts that expand private insurance coverage, opens the market to competition and protects the privacy of the doctor-patient relationship.

“The distance between the patient and the doctor continues to be filled with more rules and regulations,” Bosworth said. “The greatest thing that’s being compromised is their ability to trust the medical world.”

Bosworth, 42, is one of five Republicans seeking the party’s nomination for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by retiring Democratic Sen. Tim Johnson.

Also seeking the GOP nomination in the June 3 primary are former Gov. Mike Rounds, state Rep. Stace Nelson of Fulton, state Sen. Larry Rhoden of Union Center and Yankton attorney and soldier Jason Ravnsborg. Rounds is considered the front-runner for the seat, which provides a prime opportunity for Republicans needing a net gain of six seats to have a majority and control the U.S. Senate.

Bosworth said she wants to curtail what she called the government’s out-of-control spending and cut, cap and balance the federal budget. She also wants to eliminate what she sees as unnecessary and overly burdensome federal regulations and get bureaucrats out of such roles as economic development.

“Our federal government is here to protect our country,” she said. “That is where their minds should be first. It is to have an economy that allows jobs, not to be the one who’s creating them.”

Bosworth’s campaign has been using Base Connect, a direct mail fundraising company that helps conservative candidates, organizations and political action committees. Her year-end report with the Federal Election Commission shows she took in about $315,000 during the final three months of the year, outpacing the lone Democratic candidate and all of the Republicans except Rounds.

Jon Schaff, a political science professor at Northern State University, said Bosworth benefits from being the only woman in the race and from her professional credentials as a doctor. But she’s never had elected office and is not well-known in the state, he said.

“Unless you’re Mike Rounds, the only way to get name recognition is to buy it,” Schaff said. “So she has the money to buy that recognition more than the other candidates.”

Bosworth’s candidacy survived a recent challenge by political blogger Cory Heidelberger, who questioned the validity of some of her nominating petition signatures. South Dakota Secretary of State Jason Gant ruled the challenge unsuccessful on Saturday.

Bosworth vowed to serve no more than two terms if elected, and said that legislators have an ethical obligation to work toward the long-term health of the nation.

“When they lose sight, that you’re looking more toward the next election as opposed to looking toward the next generation, you make clearly different decisions,” she said.


Follow Dirk Lammers on Twitter at https://www.twitter.com/ddlammers

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