Sen. Pat Roberts spews vile comment on mammograms, hastily apologizes

Pat Roberts

Pat Roberts

U.S. Sen. Pat Roberts of Kansas too often thinks he’s a witty old sage on Capitol Hill. On Thursday, however, the 80-year-old Republican made a reprehensible comment about women and health care.

As debate raged in Washington about a controversial GOP health care bill, news emerged about one possible ugly way to sell it to conservative House members: scrap the required “Essential Health Benefits” that insurance policies must cover. They include doctor visits, lab tests, hospital stays and other services.

Here’s where Roberts comes in.

Alice Ollstein, a reporter at Talking Points Memo, said on Twitter she ran into the Kansas senator at mid-day Thursday. (Her online story on the encounter noted that Roberts didn’t even know what he was talking about regarding mammograms.)

That led to understandable outrage from a number of people, including two of Roberts’ congressional colleagues: U.S. Reps. Jackie Speier and Barbara Lee, both California Democrats.

About two hours later after Ollstein’s tweet, Roberts apologized on Twitter.

But let’s face it. The damage had been done. Some on Twitter attacked Roberts while others made good points about the obtuseness of Roberts’ remark.

Here’s an excerpt from Ollstein’s story on that fact:


And let’s end with a very good question:

9 Thoughts.

  1. If Roberts had spent less time being snarky and some time in Kansas, he could have attended one of the several HHS “learning sessions” that were held in the Kansas City, Ks. area. Then would have known that the insurance companies were actually in favor of offering the Essential Health Beefits, once they were all told it was mandatory. The science of this, Sen. Snarky, is that the insurance companies knew it was a net gain in the long run to have humans get preventative exams and lab work. As profit makers, no Ins. Co. wanted to be held at a monetary disadvantage by paying for something their competitors could opt out of, even though they knew the patient would have fewer long term or more severe health problems.

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