Utah congressman Jason Chaffetz is the cherubic face of the GOP. But don’t let his looks fool you — he’s every bit as empty-headed and sinister as the rest of them. On Tuesday morning Chaffetz joined Alisyn Camerota on CNN”s New Day to talk about a variety of topics, including the Republicans’ shiny new proposal for replacing Obamacare.
When it comes to their Obamacare replacement, the word of the day for the GOP is “access.” Chaffetz throws the word out there several times during the conversation without ever mentioning this pertinent fact: the poor people he wants to have “access” to the healthcare system already have access, and they have had for some time. But that “access” in the past has largely consisted of charitable care and visits to the emergency room. It’s not a return to the pre-ACA “access” that people need, it’s a way to pay for full access to the healthcare system.
But Chaffetz, in true GOP fashion, has an answer for that, too. Just don’t buy that new iPhone:
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Americans have choices. And they’ve gotta 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 that in their own healthcare.
Let’s take the congressman’s idea. Currently, an iPhone 7 Plus costs $769. The average cost for an uninsured patient to visit a primary care physician, aka a “family doctor,” is $160. So the cost of your iPhone would pay for just shy of five doctor visits. Not too bad if you’re the only person in your family, and if everything turns out ok or if your condition can be treated by that doctor. But if you need specialist care, or if you need prescription medications, the money spent on that iPhone won’t begin to touch the cost of your treatment.
It’s a similar deal if you want to take that money and spend on an insurance policy. A 30-year-old can buy the average “bronze” policy on an Obamacare exchange for a little over $300 a month. Even in a pie-in-the-sky world where the new Republican proposal lowered costs dramatically, let’s say by two-thirds, the cost of the iPhone won’t even pay for a year’s premiums for one person, let alone a family.
Here’s what Jason Chaffetz had to say about the GOP Obamacare replacement, via CNN: