Jason Chaffetz takes advantage of Congressional healthcare benefits before he quits

Republican Congressman Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) announced this month that he wouldn’t seek re-election to his position, and may not even finish his current term despite being sent back by his constituents just last fall.

Now, Chaffetz, 50, will be leaving Congress for 3-4 weeks, according to Politico, for a surgery on his leg. Chaffetz posted a picture of an x-ray to his Instagram account on Wednesday night, saying that surgery was necessary in the immediate future to avoid a potentially life-threatening infection.

His departure will likely mean that Chaffetz will miss a key vote that would repeal and replace Obamacare. The added irony? Chaffetz, as a member of Congress, is entitled to a Gold Coverage plan on the marketplace. So, while he remains a member of Congress, he’ll receive coverage with low payments for his procedure. Then, if he likes, he can quit Congress without worrying about finding private coverage.

Chaffetz has long been a fierce critic of the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare. In the debate earlier this year on a proposal made by President Donald Trump to repeal the law, Chaffetz defended his position that would result in 24 million Americans losing their coverage. When asked what low-income Americans should do to help pay for their bills if the repeal went through, Chaffetz replied that “Maybe, rather than getting that new iPhone that they just love and want to go spend hundreds of dollars on, maybe they ought to go invest in their own health care.”

Forbes estimates that the average yearly healthcare costs for a family of four is around $25,000. The latest iPhone costs around $650.

For comparison, foot surgery like what Chaffetz is slated to have can cost anywhere between $6,000 and $17,000, according to costhelper.com. That’s more than 26 iPhones, a number of devices Chaffetz likely doesn’t own.

Fortunately for Chaffetz, his Obamacare plan will pay for most of the costs associated with his health bill. But if Chaffetz had his way, that plan wouldn’t be available to him or to millions of Americans across the country.

About the Author

Chris Walker
Chris Walker been writing about political issues for the past decade, including for sites such as Elite Daily, AMERICAblog, and Mic. You can follow him on Twitter @thatchriswalker.