Jason Chaffetz will not be winning an award for his bedside manner, after the Utah Republican said that low-income people would have to choose between electronics and medical attention under his party’s replacement for Obamacare. The GOP’s proposed replacement swap Obamacare’s mandate that individuals buy insurance with a penalty for letting insurance lapse.
“Maybe rather than getting that new iPhone that they just love and want to go spend hundreds of dollars on, maybe they should invest [that money] in their own health care,” Chaffetz said on CNN’s “New Day” Tuesday morning. The Republican bill would disproportionately impact poor individuals who have benefited from the expansion of Medicaid and the creation of income-based subsidies to purchase health insurance, policies that are in the cross-hairs under the proposal.
His comments drew mockery on Twitter.
The Utah congressman, first elected eight years ago, has cut a polarizing figure on Capitol Hill, spearheading investigations as head of the House’s Government Reform and Oversight Committee into former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s private e-mail server. Many constituents and pundits have alleged those inquiries took a partisan hue, and have criticized him for a reluctance so far to pursue similarly hard-nosed investigations of the Trump White House.