In his March 18 Public Forum on the Tribune opinion page, Sen. Pat Roberts noted the second anniversary of the 2010 health reform act and presented his criticism of the legislation. Another second anniversary will occur on July 15 of this year. It will be two years since Sen. Roberts declared that “we” ought to replace the act with a plan that would actually lower health-care costs for all families in a column that appeared on the Tribune opinion page. As a member of the committee responsible for health-care legislation, Sen. Roberts is actually the “we.”
Sen. Roberts has had two years to develop his plan and have it reviewed by the Congressional Budget Office. With that review he could have the complete quantifiable impacts and costs so that everyone could see how his plan would impact them for good or for bad. It could be posted on his Web site. But after two years it is not there.
I have not seen Sen. Roberts dispute the assertion made for enacting the new health-care reform act: that health-care cost are increasing at a rate that would eventually cripple the nation’s economy. It seems overcoming this problem will mean having to implement some solutions that we wish we could avoid. Rather than fulfill his obligation to provide legislation to solve the problem of rising health care costs, Sen. Roberts has spent the last two years providing negative campaign ads about health care.
I urge voters to insist that our legislators do the pragmatic work of governing or elect those who will. Our legislators are acting irresponsibly when they espouse criticism of their political opposites while providing no comprehensive alternatives and it is irresponsible of us to tolerate it.