Video: Jimmy Kimmel Continues To Fight Back On Healthcare Repeal; Now The Closest Thing U.S. Has To A Moral Compass
On Tuesday night, Jimmy Kimmel excoriated the latest Republican attempt to repeal Obamacare, and Republican Senator Bill Cassidy, who co-authored Graham-Cassidy, the current health care repeal bill. And on Wednesday night, Kimmel excoriated the senator again, countering Cassidy's attempt at saying Kimmel just didn't understand the bill.
Kimmel became a passionate health care advocate earlier this year, after the birth of his son, who required open-heart surgery when he was three days old. In the months since his infant son's birth, Kimmel has played an extremely unlikely but increasingly vital role in the health care debate.
"Kimmel, not Cassidy, is right on health care, analysts say," is an actual headline that ran on Politico on Wednesday. And this is an actual tweet from Alex Burns, political reporter for the New York Times:
Jimmy Kimmel has emerged as a significant political obstacle to President Trump's health care agenda, is a true sentence in 2017— Alex Burns (@alexburnsNYT) September 21, 2017
After Wednesday night's show, one could argue that the former co-host of Win Ben Stein's Money is the closest thing America has to a moral compass—and potentially the strongest ally millions of Americans have in the fight to keep their health coverage.
But first, let's backtrack: a week after his emotional monologue in May, Senator Cassidy appeared on Kimmel's show and promised to back a health care bill that made sure "no family should be denied medical care, emergency or otherwise because they can't afford it," even nicknaming the criteria The Jimmy Kimmel Test.
"He said anything he supported would have to pass what he named The Jimmy Kimmel Test," Kimmel explained on Tuesday. "Which was fine, it was good. But unfortunately, and puzzlingly, he proposed a bill that would allow states to do all the things he said he would not let them do." This Tuesday night monologue went viral in the 24 hours after it aired, and Wednesday, as Kimmel said, "was a bad morning for Senator Cassidy.... [he] spent the morning defending the indefensible."
Kimmel goes on to play the clip where Senator Cassidy tells CNN's Chris Cuomo "I'm sorry [Kimmel] does not understand."
"Oh, I get it. I don't understand because I'm a talk show host," Kimmel says. "Then help me out, which part don't I understand? Is it the part where you cut $243 billion from federal health care assistance? Am I not understanding the part where states would be allowed to let insurance companies price you out of coverage for having pre-existing conditions?"
"Maybe I don't understand the part of your bill which federal funding disappears completely after 2026," Kimmel continues, adding that the bill would include plans that are no longer required to pay for essential benefits like maternity care, and that it is opposed by an extremely long list of health groups. "Which part of that am I not understanding? Or could it be, Senator Cassidy, that the problem is that I do understand—and you got caught with your G-O-Penis out? Is that possible?"
"Because it feels like it is. I don't want to turn this into a Kanye-and-Taylor-Swift-type situation—but when Senator Cassidy was on my show in May, he told me that he believed every American family, regardless of income, should be able to get quality health care," Kimmel continues, noting that that would not be the case with the bill that Cassidy unveiled with Senator Lindsey Graham last week.
Kimmel then goes on to straight-up wipe the floor with Fox and Friends host Brian Kilmeade, who accused "Hollywood elites like comedian Jimmy Kimmel for pushing their politics on the rest of the country," on his show following Kimmel's Tuesday monologue.
Apparently, Kilmeade "kisses [Kimmel's] ass like a little boy meeting Batman" whenever he sees him, following the comedian on Twitter, asking him to blurb his book, and calling his agent inquiring about projects. "He's dying to be a member of the Hollywood elite," Kimmel says. "The only reason he's not a member of the Hollywood elite is because nobody will hire him to be one."
Kimmel went slightly easier on Senator Lindsey Graham for two reasons: "he is one of the few Republicans who stands up to Donald Trump" and he happens to look a lot like Kimmel's dead grandma, Jane. (On a sidenote, bravo to Jimmy Kimmel for becoming our moral compass and somehow still being this funny—just watch him land that Grandma Jane line).
Kimmel closes his monologue with an action item, exhorting his millions of viewers to "please stop texting for five minutes and make a phone call," even putting the numbers on the screen: