RUSH: Jason Chaffetz stepped into it yesterday, and I’m gonna defend him. I know exactly what he was talking about. He may not know what he was talking about, but I do.
Did you hear what he said? (interruption) He said (paraphrased), “It’s about time people decide, you know, what’s more important to you. Do you want to go out and spend all that money on a new iPhone, or do you want health insurance?” And of course the predictable reaction, “Republican heartless SOB! He’s just hates people.” And, of course, that’s not Jason Chaffetz at all. It turns out that there is recently released economic data from massive surveys that is stunning.
It is that over half of the people in this country could not write a $500 check if they had to. They don’t have it. They would have to put it on a credit card. The same survey says that the vast majority of people would just as soon spend that money on an iPhone as on health care. So he was exactly right. But since nobody knows the survey, they think he’s a typical mean-spirited Republican reprobate, and he’s not.
RUSH: Jason Chaffetz. I found this story everywhere in my little tech blogs, because it mentions an iPhone.
Headline: “Top Republican Says Poor People Should Stop Buying iPhones, Buy Health Insurance Instead.” You ought to read the comments. Every little Millennial nerd tech person thinks that Jason Chaffetz is the devil ’cause he’s the Republican, because don’t you know the phone company ought to pay for your phone and insurance and the government ought to pay for your health care. The idea that you should have to pay for it? These people don’t even want to pay for cable TV. They hate Comcast.
They despise Verizon. You would not believe! It’s been humorously educational for me. But here’s the story: “Yesterday the Republican Party finally unveiled its new plan to replace Obamacare, and nobody knows how much it’ll cost or how many people will lose coverage under it. One thing we know, Jason Chaffetz is a turd.” That’s what it says right there. On a tech blog. “Chaffetz told CNN’s Alisyn Camerota…” Did you know she has a novel out about a cable news infobabe that has trouble with a private life while working in the news business?
Hee-hee-hee. Obviously a chick novel waiting for the TV and movie rights to pour in. Anyway, “Chaffetz told CNN This Morning that Americans might have to decide between their smartphone and having health insurance. You see, the Republicans have spent the past seven years saying they want to scrap the Affordable Care Act…” Of course, there’s nothing affordable about Obamacare — and these Millennials, they know that Obama lies, but they don’t care. You know why?
Because Obama’s for gay marriage, and Obama’s for transgender rights, and they think Obama’s big in human rights. So Obama can do anything else he wants! He’s a great guy of because gay rights, gay marriage, transgender rights, human rights. Obama is god, and he can do anything! He can wiretap Trump. Whatever he does is perfectly fine ’cause he’s really good at making us feel not guilty over America’s past. “Jason Chaffetz more or less just gave away the big conceit in the Republican bill.
“You’re gonna have to cut back on modern luxuries like a phone if you want health insurance.” Okay. That is a bastardization and a distortion of what Chaffetz was saying.
RUSH: Here’s the story. This is from Zero Hedge, but the source of this is actually the CEO of Assurant. Do you know what Assurant is? Assurant insures gadgets. Assurant sells extended warranties for things like iPhones, iPads, TVs, dishwashers. Even if your Samsung dishwasher explodes, you can buy insurance on it. Did you know their dishwashers explode like their phones? Yeah.
It’s this guy, the CEO of Assurant, that went out and — ’cause he’s in the insurance business — surveyed their customer base and a ton of other Americans and found some fascinating economic data. He was on Bloomberg TV — it was either yesterday or the day before — to explain why demand for his services is gonna increase. “The chief executive of Assurant, which is a mobile phone insurance company, said he expects a surge in demand as carriers begin to charge customers more to replace their devices. ‘If you think back five years ago, you as a consumer didn’t know how much that phone cost…'”
Because you went to the phone company and you bought the phone and they practically gave it to you. It was maybe $199 for the phone, and you had to sign a two-year contract. The cost of the phone was built into your monthly payment, but you didn’t have to come up with it up front. Now all of the carriers have eliminated the subsidy, and when you want a phone, you have to pay for the whole thing up front now. And that’s where this survey comes in.
“Now you’re paying $600 [to $900], that’s a lot. So we’ve actually seen the attachment rate, or the number of people buying the product, going up a little bit in the last couple of years. … The reality is,'” after he did this market survey, “half of Americans can’t afford to write a $500 check,’ Colberg said.” This guy’s name, by the way, is Colberg, Alan Colberg. Now, stop and think of this. “Half of Americans cannot afford to write a $500 check.” That’s for anything. If they wanted to buy $500 of Skittles, they can’t do it by writing a check, which means half of Americans do not have $500 in their checking account that’s not allocated to something.
“He spun that stunning statistic by saying that when U.S. customers sign up for a cellular plan, they’re willing to buy” insurance for their phone, because the last thing they want to lose is their phone. The last thing they want is something happening to their phone. If they lose it, they want a replacement immediately. If the screen breaks, they want it fixed immediately. If something else about the phone breaks — if it bricks, if it stops working — they want it fixed immediately, and they will pay out the nose for insurance for their phones.
And all Jason Chaffetz was saying was: Isn’t it kind of interesting that people who can’t pool together 500 bucks will still find a way to make monthly payments on insurance for their phones, and yet they don’t think they should have to for their own health care? It’s simply a value judgment that people have made. But I guarantee you since there’s no such thing as phone insurance in America — meaning there’s no federal program that will buy you a phone because you want one. Yet there are numerous health care plans that will pay for your doctor visit, that will pay for your hangnail, that will pay for whatever you need — and so if somebody will pay for it? Gladly!
But there’s no way you can legally find somebody else to pay for your phone.
The point is that when people, there’s something they really want, they’ll find a way to get it, and they’ll find a way to make sure they continue to use it if something happens to it by buying an insurance plan on it. In other words, there are millions of Americans who do not have $500 in the bank but they are willing to dish out more than that on a phone, and then they will make monthly payments that are way beyond $500 to insure the purchase. They can’t afford the insurance. They don’t have $500. But they’ll find a way to make it fit into a monthly payment somewhere.
Now, it’s also true you can’t buy health insurance in monthly payments, right? You have to pay for it. (interruption) It depends on what kind of coverage you’re getting. If you want instant replacement, instant repair, that’s gonna cost you more than what they’ll advertise. If you can wait two weeks for the phone to be replaced, repaired, or whatever, that’s the entry price. We’ve had some of these guys as sponsors here at the EIB. I’ve talked to them about their business. I know exactly how they operate.
I tell you what. When we were first approached by somebody that wanted to advertise the fact that they insure phones, I said, “I never heard of this.” And they set out to tell me how big a business it is, and I have to admit to you I was shocked. I said, “Well, don’t the carriers provide some kind of insurance as part of the monthly plan?”
“Yeah, but it’s nothing like what we can tailor to every buyer.” And it turns out it’s a huge business! And I had no idea. The idea of insuring a phone just — the point is here, Chaffetz chose the iPhone as his example of a desired purchase versus health care. And I don’t know whether he was aware of this survey or not. If he wasn’t, he’s incredibly prescient, ’cause he was making an actually salient point.
It’s come off as being critical of buyers, critical of people. And, of course, since it’s a Republican, that’s how they want to report it, a mean-spirited, extremist Republican thinks you should give up your phone and pay for your own surgery, or whatever it is. You know how they distort news whenever it involves a Republican.
But if people really want it, and apparently they want their phones, and they want insurance against anything happening to the phone, they’ll pay for it. They will find a way, even the people that don’t have 500 bucks in their checking account or in their back pocket will find a way to pay for it. Monthly payments, loans, what have you.
But when it comes to health care, are you kidding? No way! Where’s my Blue Cross card? Where’s my this? Where’s my that? And that’s what we’re up against in actually fixing health care, which is a major, major obstacle.
RUSH: By the way, there’s another survey that goes along with this $500 do you have it or not story. Bankrate did another survey and they asked people, if you came on hard times, what would you first get rid of? And six out of 10 people said that they would eat out less. The least likely to face the chopping block: mobile phone plans. People will hold onto their cellular coverage as the last thing they have to get rid of.
They’ll stop eating out. Then they’ll stop eating. Then they’ll stop drinking. Getting rid of the cell phone plan is the last thing they will do, according to this Bankrate survey. Only 35% said they would cut back on their wireless plans to save money.
RUSH: Jason Chaffetz, Republican from Utah, is being savaged across the media for being a heartless, mean-spirited Republican for daring to suggest that people might want to choose health insurance over an iPhone. We went through all the latest survey data on economics and American spending habits and abilities. But I want to go back here to March 6th of 2014. Barack Hussein O, the president at the moment, was over at the Newseum.
He participated in a Spanish-language town hall event focusing on “the importance of Latinos participating in the Affordable Care Act.” What a subject, right? (impression) “It’s important! Uhhh, it’s important for you Latinos be part of the Affordable Care Act, ’cause you Latinos, you’re a different kind of people than other people, and you African-Americans, you’re a different kind of people.” It’s just weird the way Democrats look at. Why is it important for Latinos to be part of…? I mean, they’re human beings. Isn’t that enough?
Well, I’m being serious. I’m not cutting anything. Why look at people this way? Well, I know why. ‘Cause they love to put people in group membership or victims. But, anyway, Obama is participating here during the Q&A, and the co-moderator is Enrique Acevedo, and he says, “The next question is from a viewer who wanted Obamacare for a family of three. He says, ‘Mr. President, I made about $36,000 a year. The minimum here is about $315 a month. That’s just too much for me. A lot’s been said about the costs and for families who live paycheck to paycheck; $315, it’s a lot of money.'”
OBAMA: I guess what I would say is if you looked at that person’s budget and you looked at their cable bill, uh, their cell phone bill, other things that they’re spending on, it may turn out that it’s just they haven’t prioritized health care because right now everybody’s healthy. Nobody actually wants to spend money on health insurance until they get sick.
RUSH: So Obama also threw out there, you know, maybe you people like your phones too much. Maybe you like your cable bill too much. He didn’t know that the Millennials hate… It’s not just… I guess it’s Millennials, but the tech Millennials. It’s funny how much they hate cable TV. And Verizon. They hate Verizon. They just hate them! It’s funny. The venom that they spew is hilarious. But it wasn’t just Jason Chaffetz. I mean, it’s Obama’s done.