On the heels of House Republicans’ decision to finally release the details of their proposed Obamacare replacement late Monday, Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) stopped by CNN’s New Day Tuesday morning to discuss the details. And like pretty much everyone on the Internet, co-anchor Alisyn Camerota had lots of questions for the top House Republican about the new plan. That’s when Chaffetz uttered an amazing declaration cum condemnation seemingly blaming anxious Americans — and not the Republican-controlled Congress — for their healthcare woes.
“Access for lower income American doesn’t equal coverage,” noted Camerota. This inspired the representative’s jaw-dropping line about iPhones and investment:
“We’re getting rid of the individual mandate. We’re getting rid of those things that people said they don’t want. And you know what? Americans have choices, and they’ve got to make a choice. 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 in their own health care. They’ve got to make those decisions themselves.”
Unperturbed, Camerota continued pressing Chaffetz about whether or not the House Republicans’ new plan would allow for greater access at the expense of coverage options. Chaffetz relented, saying he though Camerota’s comments were “fair,” though he was quick to qualify his response by noting it would be “premature” to make any judgments about the new plan since everyone is “just starting to consume it.”
Chaffetz, the current chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, is no stranger to making news. From his trolling Hillary Clinton at the inauguration with an Instagram post to facing angry constituents at a town hall meeting, the congressman from Utah apparently isn’t afraid to say and do things sure to provoke a response. Whether or not he intended his telling Camerota her criticism was “premature” in light of his iPhone comment to be ironic, however, remains to be seen. Especially since Chaffetz had no qualms about using his (or a staffer’s) fancy smart phone to post to Instagram from the CNN set.