Chaffetz: Americans May Have To Choose Between New Phone, Health Insurance

Screen Shot

Screen Shot

Chaffetz claimed the new health care system would give citizens more choices for coverage, but also acknowledged that poorer Americans might have to make sacrifices for health care.

Following the reveal of a highly anticipated Republican Obamacare replacement plan, Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) offered a line of reasoning that Republicans chided President Barack Obama for in 2014. "They've got to make those decisions themselves".

"Maybe, rather than getting that new iPhone that they just love and they want to spend hundreds of dollars on, maybe they should invest in their own healthcare", Chaffetz told CNN's Alisyn Camerota on New Day Tuesday morning. Let's say we're all buying so many shiny new iPhones that we can forgo a few of them to afford our health care. But it seems pretty clear that, by virtue of the huge disparity in pricing, smartphones and healthcare don't really fall within the same decision-making framework for most of us.

"Well, yes. Yes, I think that's fair", Chaffetz replied before adding the caveat that there hasn't yet been a full analysis of the bill.

The comments drew immediate rebukes from critics who saw Chaffetz's advice as unrealistic and uncaring. When someone who makes $174,000 a year and has taxpayer-subsidized health care talks about how important is it for other people to be self-reliant, it kinda makes us want to rage-vomit.

The 66-page proposal Monday offers a more conservative approach to US health care but does not detail specific elements - such as what the program would cost or how many Americans it could cover.

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But framing the consumer "choice" as one between an iPhone and health coverage ignores the massive gap between the price of an iPhone and what Americans spend on health care.

"The idea that you wouldn't want to make sure that you've got the health security and financial security ... you guys are smarter than that", Obama said. A new iPhone 7 Plus with 256 GB of memory costs $969 to purchase outright, or about $40 per month on a payment plan.

Perez knocked new legislation from House Republicans aimed at repealing and replacing ObamaCare.

On Tuesday, Chaffetz explained his comment further during an appearance on Fox News' "America's Newsroom."

Low-income enrollees would likely see their monthly premiums rise under the Republican plan because its tax credits are not tied to the cost of coverage and do not provide greater help to lower income Americans.

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