This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
As members of the Utah steering committee for the Campaign to Fix the Debt, state Sen. Luz Robles, D-Salt Lake, and I jointly applaud Sen. Orrin Hatch's recent proposals for reforming Medicare and Medicaid, even those difficult for Democrats, such as raising the eligibility age.
First, unlike many elected officials in Washington, Utah's senior senator laid out specifics, giving potential negotiations a real starting point.
Second, the senator said that these proposed changes to our entitlement programs, upon which many vulnerable members of our society rely, should be only "part of" a comprehensive solution to our debt problem. We agree.
The Campaign to Fix the Debt is a national, nonpartisan organization advocating bipartisan action to bend down the unsustainable trajectory of our national debt. We therefore encourage Hatch to couple his ideas with those that may come from both his Democratic and Republican colleagues, including true tax reform that simplifies the tax code: broadening the base, lowering rates and closing loopholes.
If a debt deal is to succeed, all options must be on the table. Hatch has made a good start. We urge the senator and his colleagues to keep it going.
Enid Greene Mickelsen