GOP’s Chaffetz: Choose Between Health Insurance or New iPhone

House Republicans unveiled their bill to repeal and replace Obamacare on Monday, drawing a mixture of cheers and jeers from conservatives who weren’t sure what to expect. While the plan makes noticeable cuts to current federal health insurance expenditures, some critics on the right are disappointed by what Republicans have decided to keep. Nevertheless, the overwhelming volume of criticism comes from the Democrats, who say that millions of low-income Americans will lose their coverage if the bill is passed into law.

In a Tuesday morning interview with CNN, House Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) was less than swayed by this argument. The Republican promise, he said, was to provide access to health insurance for all Americans. It was not, however, the federal government’s job to make sure every individual opted for coverage.

“You know what, Americans have choices. And they’ve got to make a choice,” said Chaffetz. “And so maybe, rather than getting that new iPhone that they just love and they want to spend hundreds of dollars on, maybe they should invest in their own healthcare.”

Liberals will have a field day with that seemingly-callous remark, but this is the kind of messaging that Republicans need to embrace. For too many months, the GOP has been playing defense on Obamacare, carelessly buying into every narrative the media invents. It’s time for that to end. You can’t repeal and replace the ACA without laying out some hard truths, and Chaffetz did a wonderful job hitting the sweet spot.

Coincidentally, HUD Secretary Ben Carson waded into controversy this week when he called slaves “immigrants,” which allowed the media to remind us of that time Carson compared the Affordable Care Act to slavery. And while we understand why people get uptight about loose references to that dark period, he had a point. You can spend all of your time focused on what Obamacare has accomplished, but the fundamental fact is that it encroached on our liberty. What statistic could possibly justify that?

Will some Americans “lose” their health insurance due to this law? Yes, but many of them never wanted it in the first place. Others may be forced to take a close look at their spending habits and make a choice between luxuries and wise purchases. And it’s up to them to decide where to draw that line. That’s the beauty of freedom: You get to decide for yourself. And yes, bad decisions can lead to bad consequences, but guess what? You can let the government make all your decisions for you and it won’t save you from those. Obamacare offered Americans the illusion of security in exchange for a reduction in freedom.

Affordable? Quite the contrary.


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