Newly elected Democratic National Committee chair Tom Perez on Tuesday blasted Republican Rep. Jason Chaffetz over his remarks that people need to choose between buying a new iPhone and getting health insurance.
“Rep. Jason Chaffetz is a shameless hypocrite,” Perez said in a statement. “He makes a six figure taxpayer salary, has taxpayer subsidized healthcare, and he still thinks working Americans should be forced to choose between health insurance or owning a telephone.”
Perez also took the opportunity to slam the new legislation from the House GOP seeking to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, commonly known as Obamacare.
“It’s no wonder why Republicans kept their plan hidden for so long,” said the former President Obama’s Labor secretary. “It’s also glaringly obvious why they’re so desperate to ram it through Congress — they don’t want the public to find out what’s in it.
“If passed, this plan will throw millions of Americans off their healthcare and make it more expensive for millions more, especially seniors who will see cuts to Medicaid and increased premiums. For many Americans, it’s a death sentence.”
Earlier on Tuesday, Chaffetz, the chair of the powerful House Oversight Committee, said that Americans may have to make some tough choices with their spending when it comes to healthcare.
“You know what, Americans have choices, and they’ve got to make a choice. So rather than getting that new iPhone that they just love and 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.”
He later tried to clarify his comments, saying, “What we’re trying to say, and maybe I didn’t say as smoothly as I possibly could, but people need to make a conscious choice, and I believe in self-reliance,” he said in an appearance on Fox News.
“And they’re going to have to make those decisions. We want people to have access to an affordable healthcare product.”