In May, U.S. Sen. Pat Roberts visited Ottawa to address the Rotary Club in our fine town. He addressed not only the attendees, but also a crowd gathered outside to urge him fight for quality equitable healthcare/insurance for all Americans.

His major theme for the day was crop insurance, specifically how critical it was for Kansans and how committed he was to continuing to fight for this program.

After his speech to the Rotary Club, he offered to take questions from the audience. When asked about the Affordable Care Act and Florida U.S. Senator Marco Rubio’s amendment that crippled subsidies for insurance companies that participated in the plan, Roberts ruminated that he never dreamed that he would be part of government that would be subsidizing health insurance companies.

(An aside here to provide some data: Income generated by health care outpaced income generated by agriculture by three times and employs three times as many people, according to a study conducted by Dr. John Leatherman of the Department of Agricultural Economics at Kansas State University for the Kansas Hospital Association.)

Now, I was taken aback by Roberts’ response, finding it contradictory, considering his stance on crop insurance and, therefore, did not follow up. I’m taking this opportunity to ask now what I did not ask then.

My question to Roberts: Why would you be so fervent in your defense of subsidies for crop insurers and farmers, but lukewarm in your stance on subsidies for health insurance for all citizens? ... You know, real people. Surely American citizens/real people deserve at least equal consideration to crops?

If you have similar feelings or questions for Sen. Roberts, please take the time to contact him and relay those feelings and ask those questions.

— Darren Underwood, Ottawa