Rep. Jason Chaffetz says the newly unveiled Republican replacement for Obamacare will require some financial sacrifice for Americans.
Appearing on CNN’s New Day, Chaffetz suggested that Americans need to shift their spending priorities to invest in healthcare instead of a new iPhone.
“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,” he said. “They’ve gotta make a choice. And, so maybe, instead of 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 healthcare. They’ve gotta make those decisions themselves.”
The Republican-backed bill would repeal the individual mandate for health insurance, as well as the mandate that employers must provide affordable insurance to their employees. The bill also gets rid of subsidies for out-of-pocket expenses by 2020. The proposal also allows insurers to charge significantly more for premiums for older customers than younger ones.
Chaffetz says healthcare costs are exploding and action is needed now.
“We gotta be able to actually lower the cost of healthcare. One of the things we’re concerned about is healthcare inflation is just consuming the American budget, both in the families and the federal government. We have to be able to drive those cost curves down and provide good, quality access. We do think that with more choice, you will get a better product at a lower price. And that will be good for everybody on the entire spectrum of income.”
Chaffetz has walked back his comments from earlier in the day, but stood by his remarks that Americans need to prioritize spending on healthcare.
“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,” he said on Fox News’ “America’s Newsroom.” “And they’re going to have to make those decisions.”