Watch Jimmy Kimmel Excoriate 'Scam' Republican Health Care Bill That Fails 'Jimmy Kimmel Test'
After the birth of his son (who required open heart surgery) earlier this year, Jimmy Kimmel became an unlikely but passionate health care advocate, using his platform on Jimmy Kimmel Live! to decry Republican's attempts to rescind Obamacare and deny health insurance to anyone. Republican Senator Bill Cassidy went on his show back then 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." He even nicknamed this "the Jimmy Kimmel test."
But now the Republican party is trying to push through their "hail Mary bill" before the September 30th deadline for repeal-and-replace, and leading the charge is Cassidy, who spearheaded the bill with Lindsay Graham. And Kimmel now is outraged about Cassidy lying to his face, calling it a "scam of a bill."
"This new bill actually does pass the Jimmy Kimmel test, but a different Jimmy Kimmel test," he said. "In this one, your child with a preexisting condition will get the care he needs if, and only if, his father is Jimmy Kimmel. Otherwise you might be screwed."
Kimmel does a surprisingly good job of explaining the ramifications of the bill in understandable terms, something that many Republicans cannot do. He then got even more pointed with his criticisms: "Listen, health care is complicated, it's boring, I don't want to talk about it, the details are confusing, and that's what these guys are relying on," he said. "They're counting on you to be so overwhelmed with all the information, you just trust them to take care of you, but they're not taking care of you, they're taking care of the people who give them money, like insurance companies, and we're all just looking at our Instagram accounts and liking things while they're voting on whether people can afford to keep their children alive or not. Most of the Congresspeople who vote on this bill probably won't even read it. And they want us to do the same thing. They want us to treat it like an iTunes service agreement. And this guy, Bill Cassidy, just lied right to my face."
He got ahead of his critics as well: "By the way, before you post a nasty Facebook message saying I'm politicizing my son's health problems, I want you to know I am politicizing my son's health problems because I have to. My family has health insurance, we don't have to worry about this, but other people do, so you can shove your disgusting comments where your doctor won't be giving you a prostate exam once they take your health care benefits away."
Cassidy defended the bill on MSNBC this morning, saying of Kimmel, "I'm sorry he does not understand."
For what it's worth, the Washington Post analyzed whether Kimmel did indeed "understand" the bill and seemed to come out favorably for him (though there is so much uncertainty behind the bill because it is being rushed through without proper analysis by the Congressional Budget Office). Here's some more context:
Graham-Cassidy allows insurers to NOT cover:— Gavin Newsom (@GavinNewsom) September 19, 2017
-Mental health services
Trump was also tweeting about the bill this morning: