Yesterday, Rep Jason Chaffetz [R-UT; DC office: (202) 225-7751; Utah office: (801) 851-2500; email; Twitter] defended his plan to take away the health insurance of 22,000,000 Americans by saying "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."
It's a great talking point for reaching a base that already views poverty as a moral failing, but it fails to pass even the most glancing contact with reality. On Lifehacker, Beth Skwarecki prices out a variety of basic healthcare services in Iphone increments: having a baby in San Francisco will cost you 34 Iphones, and twisting your knee in New York will cost you 24 Iphones.
For the record, Rep Chaffetz got a free Iphone courtesy of his campaign donors, who also pay his monthly bills.
Update: Here's a bot that tweets health care procedures priced in Iphones.
If you twist your knee in New York City and need an ACL repair surgery (as I did a few years ago), Health Care Blue Book says that a “fair” charge is 24 iPhones.
If you decide to have a baby—or if you don’t have that choice thanks in part to the bill’s defunding Planned Parenthood—pushing it out will cost you an average of 12 iPhones. This varies by location, of course, with some San Francisco hospitals charging 38 iPhones. Oh, and this isn’t counting prenatal care, anesthesia, c-sections, or complications that you or the baby might develop.
If, instead, you choose to have cancer, chemotherapy is also going to set you back quite a few iPhones. We’re looking at 113 to 218 iPhones for a typical course of breast cancer chemo, not counting other care or procedures you might end up needing. Or, to put it in simpler terms, a stack of iPhones two-and-a-half to five feet tall.
Here’s How Many iPhones You’ll Need to Not Buy in Order to Afford Health Care