House Republicans have a suggestion for making healthcare affordable under their new plan to replace Obamacare: budgeting.
Speaking with CNN on Tuesday morning, Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) said Americans may need to choose between paying for health insurance and buying the things they really want to spend money on, like iPhones.
“Americans have choices, they’ve got to make a choice,” Chaffetz said. “So maybe, rather than getting that new iPhone that they just love and they want to spend hundreds of dollars on that—maybe they should invest in their own healthcare. They’ve got to make those decisions themselves.”
GOP Rep. Chaffetz: Americans may need to choose between "new iphone… they just love" and investing in health care https://t.co/5Hxwn2uOl5— New Day (@NewDay) March 7, 2017
Chaffetz later qualified that affording health insurance will likely primarily affect low-income Americans, who may have to make “some sacrifice.”
In a later interview, Chaffetz admitted, “Maybe I didn’t say it as smoothly as I should.”
It must be noted that former President Barack Obama made a similar argument as he sold the Affordable Care Act (the formal name of Obamacare) to the American people.
House Republicans on Monday afternoon unveiled their new healthcare bill, the American Healthcare Act (AHA), which largely eliminates the individual mandate instituted by Obamacare, which requires Americans to obtain health insurance or face a penalty. Under the new plan, Americans will receive tax credits—between $2,000 and $14,000 for families, depending on the age of the recipients—to help pay for insurance. The setup will likely pad the bank accounts of Americans who earn between $50,000 and $75,000 per year, as they will still be eligible to receive the tax credit.
Americans who make $30,000 or less per year, as well as older Americans, will receive less support under the AHA than under Obamacare.
The AHA remains a contentious piece of legislation, even among the Republican ranks. And although movement on the bill could begin as early as Wednesday, expect delays due to infighting as the GOP irons out the details.
Either way, you might want to pick up that new iPhone sooner rather than later.