Politician Says Poor People Should Choose Between Healthcare And iPhones

by Meredith Bland
Originally Published: 

Chaffetz says people might have to choose between iPhones and healthcare coverage

You know how lately you’ve been struggling to choose between paying for your life-saving chemotherapy and buying one of those sweet virtual reality headsets? Well, Jason Chaffetz (R, Utah) knows about your dilemma and he’s ashamed of you. He married your mom, gave you a bunch of chores, and isn’t going to put up with your irresponsible choices anymore.

This morning on CNN, Chaffetz, who we know best from his work as Chairman of the Hillary Oversight Committee…I mean House Oversight Committee…really put his foot in it when talking about the new GOP healthcare plan. When New Day’s Alisyn Camerota pointed out that “access to healthcare for lower income Americans doesn’t equal coverage,” he said, “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, maybe they should invest it in their own healthcare. They’ve got to make those decisions themselves.”

Whatever. We liked our other dad better, Chaffetz.

Yes, Jason Chaffetz, he of the malleable morals, the Duke of Doing What’s Best For Him At The Moment, the Earl of If It’s Republican It’s Alright With Me, is lecturing low-income Americans on their choices. Harkening back to beloved tropes like the myth of the “welfare queen,” Chaffetz implied that the poor have a tendency to make selfish choices and have the decision-making capability of teenagers.

Telling someone that they might need to make a tough choice instead of the one that feels good at the time is a conversation most parents have daily with their small children. He’s saying, “Well, it’s your allowance, America. You can spend it on five packs of Legos or you can save it up for that bike you’ve always wanted.” Except that what Chaffetz is talking about is not the inability to make a choice between two toys, but between taking care of you and your family’s health or buying an iPhone. He seems to believe that a lot of Americans think that’s a tough call.

Twitter, of course, had some thoughts on the matter:

Chaffetz went on Fox News a few hours later to, you know, clarify what he meant. (“See, what had happened was….”)

“What we’re trying to say — and maybe I didn’t say it 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 on American Newsroom.

Nope. Still obnoxious, still condescending, still the stepfather we will never call “Dad.” 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.

Make no mistake, people are going to die because Republican lawmakers talked themselves into a corner with their hatred of anything associated with President Obama. Their health care plan will result in bigger bills for those who can least afford it. For example, if you have a pre-existing condition and you have a lapse in your coverage that lasts longer than 63 days, insurers can (and will) charge you more. Oh, and the definition of “basic care,” or those health care needs that have to be covered by your insurance, is going to become more limited.

But folks will be too busy deciding between buying a bunch of cool new apps and paying for their diabetes medication to notice, right? Remember, America: You’re a big kid now. Chaffetz and your mom are trusting you to make your own choices.

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