After addressing the nation’s health care system following his newborn son’s emergency open-heart surgery in July, Jimmy Kimmel blasted Sens. Bill Cassidy and Lindsey Graham’s new health care act on Tuesday.
Kimmel said Cassidy “lied right to my face,” when he appeared on “Jimmy Kimmel Live!”
“I know this is hard to believe but a few months ago … Sen. Bill Cassidy was on my show and he wasn’t very honest,” Kimmel said in his monologue.
“It seemed like he was being honest — he got a lot of credit and attention for coming off like a rare, reasonable voice of the Republican party when it came to health care,” he said.
He said they agreed on the “Jimmy Kimmel Test,” which meant that no family should be denied health care for lack of money.
“He agreed to that,” Kimmel said, stressing that the Obamacare plan prevents insurance companies from jacking up rates, especially for people with longterm or pre-existing conditions.
“Senator Cassidy said his plan would do this too — he said all this on television, many times,” Kimmel said.
Kimmel said the new Cassidy and Graham bill passes the “Jimmy Kimmel Test,” but in a different way.
“With this one, your child with a pre-existing condition will get the care he needs — if, and only if, his father is Jimmy Kimmel. Otherwise, you might be screwed,” he warned.
Cassidy responded to Kimmel’s accusations on CNN early Wednesday by saying, “I’m sorry he doesn’t understand. Under Graham-Cassidy-Heller-Johnson more people will have coverage, and we protect those with pre-existing conditions.”
See the senator’s entire exchange with CNN’s Chris Cuomo:
The Cassidy-Graham bill aims to overhaul the health care system and replace Obamacare. According to CNN Money, the Congressional Budget Office said on Monday that it may take several weeks for it to release an analysis of the bill so it is not yet known how many fewer people would be insured under it or what would be the impact on premiums.
The bill’s supporters say that giving states more flexibility to decide how they provide healthcare assistance to their residents will free them to design better, locally controlled systems, the LA Times reported. Graham and Cassidy state that their proposal keeps most of the tax revenue raised by the 2010 law, allowing the federal government to continue providing hundreds of billions of dollars of assistance, and that capping that aid in the future will limit how much healthcare spending the federal government would have to make.
However, Kimmel doesn’t agree and said Tuesday night: “I don’t know what happened to Bill Cassidy, but when he was on this publicity tour he listed his demands for a health care bill very clearly,” while citing Cassidy’s original criteria. “And guess what, the new bill does none of these things.”
He went on to say that the proponents of the new bill are trying to sneak it in without anyone even seeing it.
“Health care is complicated,” Kimmel conceded. “It’s boring, I don’t want to talk about it, the details are confusing, and that’s what these guys are relying on … that you just trust them to take care of you, but they’re not taking care of you. They’re taking care of people who give them money.”
“This guy, Bill Cassidy, lied right to my face,” he said, unable to hide his emotions.
“And before you post a nasty Facebook message saying I’m politicizing my son’s health problems — I am politicizing my son’s health problems, because I have to … this is a bad bill.”
Kimmel ended his segment by encouraging his viewers to call their senators to actively oppose the health care bill.
Watch the Kimmel video above.
Star Tribune staff contributed to this report.