Representative Jason Chaffetz flew in to Washington to cast an affirmative vote for a healthcare repeal bill that could allow insurers to deny coverage because of pre-existing conditions even though he recently had a surgery for a pre-existing condition himself.
Mr Chaffetz recently underwent an ankle surgery to remove 14 screws and a metal plate from his foot that were put in after a fall in his garage nearly 12 years ago. He had been experiencing pain in his ankle and his doctors advised that he come back to Utah, where he lives, to remove the hardware or risk serious infection.
The healthcare bill that he returned to Washington to vote on included an amendment, added after the first failed attempts to repeal Obamacare earlier this year, that would allow states to opt-out of provisions in the law that bar insurance companies from raising rates for people with preexisting conditions.
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Since Mr Chaffetz’s foot injury happened over a decade ago, he may have encountered issues with his insurance regarding that surgery since “pending surgeries” was one of the conditions that may have been exempt in the bill.
A picture snapped of Mr Chaffetz rolling through the halls of Congress on a knee scooter with what has been described as a look of joy on his face as her headed to cast his vote has since become a meme online, with people adding captions to the picture describing morbid intentions to leave people uninsured behind his smile.
The healthcare bill passed through the House still has a long ways to go before it becomes the law of the land. Senate Republicans have said that thy are going to take a more deliberative approach to crafting their own version of the bill (the House pushed the bill to a vote fairly quickly and didn’t even allow enough time for the Congressional Budget Office to analyse the cost and effects the bill would have).