The GOP’s current goal of repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act with a plan of their own devising is like an elaborate Russian nesting doll of frustrations. One of the (relatively) smaller irritants that popped out of the doll this week was Utah Republican Jason Chaffetz, who suggested that people might be better able to cover their increasingly expensive health plans with a little cellphone-based frugality: “So maybe, rather than getting that new iPhone that they just love and they want to spend hundreds of dollars on that—maybe they should invest in their own healthcare,” Chaffetz said on CNN recently. “They’ve got to make those decisions themselves.”
The internet promptly fell in love with the $750 iPhone 7 as the new unit of measurement for spiraling healthcare costs. Lifehacker quickly put together a list of various ailments and premiums, and how much they might run you in sweet Apple swag. The average Obamacare plan costs between three and 12 iPhones a year, for instance, while an employer-covered family plan will usually run—roughly—seven. That doesn’t even get into the out-of-pocket costs for people who don’t have insurance at all. Want to have a baby? That’ll be 12 iPhones, along with the extras for pain medication, c-sections, etc. An EKG at the emergency room will only run you two trips to the Apple Store. Pull the short straw, though, and end up uninsured in America with cancer? You’re looking at somewhere between 113 to 218 iPhones for a typical course of breast cancer chemo. Don’t try to carry all those; you’ll drop a lot of calls.
Meanwhile, a new Twitter account, @GopHealthPlan, takes any number of common maladies and translates them into easily understood smartphone measurements. Ironically, the people most affected by these numbers probably won’t be able to read the account, because assholes like Jason Chaffetz shamed them out of owning a vital information-gathering and job-hunting tool like a smartphone years ago.
[Note: Lifehacker, like The A.V. Club, is owned by Univision Communications.]