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Less than a week after packing up his D.C. office taking his cot with him and leaving Utah short one elected official former Rep. Jason Chaffetz used his first appearance on Fox News to blast GOP leaders in Congress for inaction on health care.
Chaffetz, who stepped down June 30 just six months into his fifth term, expressed frustration with his old colleagues for failing to deliver on a platform they've been pushing for years: repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act.
"Republicans, their deal with Americans was: If you give us the House of Representatives, we can play defense. If you give us the Senate, we can play a little bit of offense. If you give us the House, the Senate and the presidency, we can actually get things done," Chaffetz said on Fox. "And so here we are, seven months into [Trump's presidency], and they haven't passed the bill yet."
Chaffetz's departure came after a desire to spend more time with his family, he said, and continued frustration with Washington a feeling perhaps pervading Congress, as well.
"There's a great deal of frustration in both the House and the Senate that there is not yet a bill, because it really feels like they haven't even gotten together and figured out a plan yet," Chaffetz said.
The former congressman also expressed support for a proposal to repeal Obamacare now and reform it later, noting premium increases and lack of choice with providers as reasons to take action.
He noted that the Republican-controlled House during Barack Obama's presidency had voted to repeal Obamacare 50 times, knowing that it would die in the Senate or, if approved there, face a certain veto.
"That was almost pretend," he acknowledged.
"I just want to do what's right for America, and what's wrong right now is Obamacare," he said. "It's imploding," he added.
Chaffetz told The Tribune he didn't have any further comment on the Affordable Care Act than what he'd shared on Fox.
"I think I said everything I wanted to say," he said, but noted he's enjoying his role with Fox so far. "We're off to a good start; I'm looking forward to it."
In addition to his role as a contributor with the network, Chaffetz is launching a new consulting business and will hit the speaker circuit.
He's also penning a new book about the power of the federal bureaucracy.
He told Fox he expects to see Congress "get something done" on healthcare by the end of July, reasoning that leaving it undone for the long August recess could be a political disaster.