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Jason Chaffetz says people should invest in health care instead of buying iPhones

One Republican lawmaker is defending the replacement for the Affordable Care Act by urging those who can’t afford insurance to forgo purchases like iPhones.

“Americans have choices and they’ve got to make a choice. And so maybe rather than getting that new iPhone that they just love and they want to go spend hundreds of dollars on that, maybe they should invest it in their own health care. They’ve got to make those decisions themselves,” Jason Chaffetz said on CNN Tuesday morning.

Chaffetz was responding to criticism that the GOP replacement for the Affordable Care Act provides a better deal for higher income Americans while leaving poorer Americans worse off.

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Chaffetz was sharply criticized on Twitter by some who said iPhones aren’t comparable with the cost of health care.

In an interview with Fox News later Tuesday, the Republican said his remarks didn’t come out “smoothly,” but defended his stance that paying for health care means making choices.

“Maybe I didn’t say this as smoothly as I possibly could, but people need to make a conscious choice, and I believe in self reliance and they’re going to have to make those decisions,” he said.

Chaffetz has been among the GOP lawmakers under fire at recent town hall events by constituents angry with the Trump administration. He was met with boos last month as attendees grilled him on a number of Trump initiatives.


Christina Prignano can be reached at christina.prignano@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @cprignano.