Guest Post by Daniel S. Goldberg
Several weeks ago, Representative Jason Chaffetz (R- Utah) found himself the target of some acid criticism in multiple news outlets for attempting to justify some of the provisions in the AHCA by stating that ‘people may have to choose between iPhones and health care.’
Predictably, a storm of controversy erupted. Opponents of Rep. Chaffetz’s perspective pointed out the basic functional significance of a smartphone for more marginalized groups, including taking the time to note how smartphones were important for disease management, family and community care, public health, etc. This matters a great deal because the vast majority of health care services (by volume) actually happens outside of inpatient settings, and frequently outside of clinical settings at all. There is little doubt that smartphone access is material to the informal caregiving that places such tremendous demands on the resources of caregivers and intimates. There is no reason why more disadvantaged groups would be excepted from this assessment.