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.
Chaffetz was sharply criticized on Twitter by some who said iPhones aren’t comparable with the cost of health care.
Jason Chaffetz, selling my iPhone would not pay $31K healthcare bills last year. Thanks for the suggestion. #Trumpcare— Strange Times (@rob13567) March 7, 2017
Chaffetz tells Americans to forego new iPhone to purchase health insurance. Well, that works for the first month. Next month? Groceries?— ImpeachTrump (@dumptrump33) March 7, 2017
chaffetz either has no idea how much healthcare costs or no idea how much an iphone costs https://t.co/LVyzuorbuW— Max Read (@max_read) March 7, 2017
Jason Chaffetz, please point me to an insurance company that will sell me health for several years for the price of an iPhone. #ACA— Lee Grindinger (@LeeGrins) March 7, 2017
My broken ankle cost $117,000 so that's around 234 iPhones @jasoninthehouse.— roxane gay (@rgay) March 7, 2017
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @cprignano.