Radiologist under fire in Kansas senate race

A radiologist is making news in Kansas for reasons not entirely medically related.

Milton Wolf, a partner in the firm Alliance Radiology, is running in the Republican senate primary against incumbent GOP Sen. Pat Roberts. Alliance currently is being sued by one of its former radiologists, who has accused the firm of operating an illegal price fixing scheme.

Now, according to an article in the Kansas City Star, Roberts is making an issue of the lawsuit, charging that Wolf's partnership in Alliance--along with the lawsuit--suggests that the radiologist is more interested in profits than caring for his patients.

Lawyers and spokesman for Wolf's campaign have described Mark Idstrom--who filed the lawsuit--as a "disgruntled" former employee; last week the campaign issued a statement calling the lawsuit irrelevant to Wolf's candidacy.

"Attempts to link this frivolous case to public policy propositions I have made while running for U.S. Senate show either a failure, or a refusal, to follow the facts," the statement read.

Countered Roberts campaign spokesperson Leroy Towns: 

"What has Dr. Wolf done in his own practice to hold down healthcare costs?"

Wolf also has come under fire for posting--and commenting on--some graphic X-ray photographs of medical patients on his Facebook page, including those of patients who received fatal gunshot wounds.

"Several years ago I made some comments about these images that were insensitive to the seriousness of what the images revealed," Wolf said in a recent statement. "Soon thereafter, I removed those images and comments, again several years ago. For them to be published in a much more public context now, by a political adversary who would rather declare war on doctors than answer serious questions that Kansans have, is truly sad. However, my mistakes are my own and I take full responsibility for them."

According to a report in Politico, the National Republican Senatorial Committee, which is supporting Roberts, has called Wolf's behavior "freakish."

To learn more:
- read the article in the Kansas City Star
- take a look at the Politico report
- see the statement from the Wolf campaign (.pdf)

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