“Americans have choices,” he said, “and so maybe rather than getting that new iPhone that they just love […], maybe they should invest in their own health care.” It was a monumentally stupid thing for him to say, and it was perfect, because it revealed the proposal’s actual logic. That wasn’t supposed to happen.

Well, it was perfectly accurate from a free market perspective. Health care, we are constantly told, is a necessity. An Iphone is a luxury. Anyone who chooses a luxury over a necessity is a rather stupid individual.

I’m not formally trained in policy, but I do know my little brother’s 2016 hospital stay for acute liver explosion cost about five hundred thousand dollars, give or take a hundred grand.

Sorry about your brother, but that is a rather stupid analogy. Chaffez is referring to health care premiums, not the aggregate cost of an extremely major medical problem. The reason he didn’t answer you back, most likely, is because he figured you were stupid.

Chaffetz eventually walked his iPhone comments back, but it was just to cover his own ass.

Pity. At some point, “tough love” has to enter into the equation. Health services are expensive and important. They don’t come for free. Ever. Anywhere in the world.

He doesn’t support the individual mandate of the Affordable Care Act, which means he doesn’t support making health care compulsory and penalizing those who don’t have it (which any economist will tell you means he doesn’t actually support making health care available to everyone).

Funny thing about the individual mandate: even the architects of the ACA have come to realize that it doesn’t work. Candidate Obama was correct in 2008 when he opposed the individual mandate, saying this:

Walking back the iPhone comment did not change his core belief that the poor should not have access to medical care if it represents even a shadow of a threat of a tax on the wealthy.

He didn’t say that — you did.

The Congressional Budget Office estimates that in 2018, if the American Health Care Act passes, 14 million people will lose their health insurance.

Yes, and we know how fucking accurate THEY were back before they gave up scoring the ACA out of sheer embarrassment:

Yeppers. That’s the CBO’s 2010 estimate of exchange enrollments up there at the top. That’s reality down there at the bottom. 140% friggin percent off. And now you’re think we ought to believe them?

Maybe it’s only 9 million. So? The point still stands. We’re looking at millions of American citizens who won’t have care.

Well, as of right now, in 24 months, nobody will have any insurance, because all the insurers will have left the ACA exchanges. It is very difficult to buy something when there’s no product on the shelves. So, your comparison needs to be what the GOP is offering vs NOTHING, not what the GOP is offering vs the ACA.

They won’t have it because the tax penalty for not getting health insurance will be gone.

Wrong. The individual mandate was incredibly unsuccessful in promoting adherence. Even Jonathan Gruber has admitted this:

Even Jonathan Gruber — one of the law’s most famous advocates — believes Obamacare’s individual mandate is having little effect. In a 2016 article for the New England Journal of Medicine, Gruber and two co-authors wrote, “When we assessed the mandate’s detailed provisions, which include income-based penalties for lacking coverage and various specific exemptions from those penalties, we did not find that overall coverage rates responded to these aspects of the law.”

Republicans will then call this a choice, made by free citizens.

And that will be accurate. And freedom, sorry, does not involve “moral culpabiilty”. (You sound like you want to be governed by an authoritarian.)

“Guess they wanted iPhones more” is just a repackaging of the old racist and classist trope that all welfare recipients buy luxury televisions.

Excuse me while I laugh hysterically. Racism and classism? :-)

But the iPhone line is a sideshow when you stack it against the big issue, which is how financially fucked most people actually are. When people opt out of health insurance, it is not because they don’t want health care. It’s because they don’t have enough to get by in their daily lives.

BINGO!!!!!!! That’s the problem the GOP are trying to solve. A paycheck is always better than a welfare check. If you can control the costs of health care and bring them back in line with the paycheck, then people do what Candidate Obama said — — make smart choices with their money.

My brother survived his hospital stint for exactly one reason: the Affordable Care Act. What the Republicans are planning to do to health care will turn more cases like my brother’s into tragedies. It is not advocating for communism to say that this reflects a lack of empathy, a necessary civic virtue that, under Trump, is wilting within the American right.

No, it’s not advocating for communism, but you’re failing to peel the onion back far enough. Pick whatever health care insurance program you like. If costs do not come under control, ANY and ALL WILL FAIL. The ACA insufficiently addressed cost control in favor of coverage. The GOP (at this moment) are addressing cost control with (perhaps) a tradeoff in the area of coverage. It’s a necessity.

What the hell good is a government that would let its citizens die when they don’t need to die?

It’s not the government; its us. Put the blame where it belongs. If you want universal care, taxes have to go up. Has either party suggested that? Hm? You complain that the GOP won’t, but did the Democrats, in the runup to the ACA?

Put the blame where it belongs. On us. Because NEITHER party will propose the taxation require to build a truly universal plan, because they know that the first party that proposes it will be dead, dead, dead for another decade.

I will bet you that this week, when the AHCA is being debated and amendments concerned, not a single Democrat proposes a tax increase. So don’t put the blame on the GOP alone.

But that doesn’t matter to the White House, somehow, because the nonpartisan estimate is wrong, and therefore worthless.

It’s not worthless, but they’ve been so far off in the past (as shown above), one questions any estimate they come up with:

Hatred for the Affordable Care Act is mostly an emotional reaction, egged on by conservative media, to the notion of being ordered around by an elite.

Bullshit. There was indeed emotion about it — not surprising, since the majority party rammed it down the throat of the minority (see how that feels this week with Gorsuch). But, every economic objection that the GOP made concerning the ACA has come true. So at the same time the GOP was emoting, they were making sound economic predictions about the future of the ACA which ……for some reason people want to try to not mention anymore.

But the fact is that the mandate to get health care was morally necessary. It kept people alive, something government is supposed to give a shit about.

I only wish the Democrats had felt like that after Hilarycare imploded. As everyone is now aware, the GOP was ready to propose an alternative (it was not as much like the ACA as some believe, but I digress) but the Dems made it clear that if it wasnt’ single payer, they weren’t going to talk about it.

The notion that people will “choose” between their monthly insurance premium and owning a smartphone is a ludicrous false equivalency based on relative cost alone (I recently spent five iPhones on stitches).

Well, if you don’t think you have to choose between luxuries and necessities…..good for you. Just don’t ask me to pay for your decision.

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