UPDATE: Bill Cassidy has responded to Jimmy Kimmel’s takedown of the politician’s proposed health care bill. “I’m sorry he does not understand,” Cassidy told CNN Wednesday morning. “Under [the bill], more people will have coverage and we protect those with pre-existing conditions.” When host Chris Cuomo noted that pre-existing conditions under his bill will be at the discretion of each state, Cassidy claimed, before the release of a CBO score of the bill, that prices would drop.
Jimmy Kimmel called out Senator Bill Cassidy in a scathing monologue Tuesday, criticizing the politician for crafting and pushing a health care bill that does not ensure the kind of protections he previously promised during an interview on Jimmy Kimmel Live.
In May, as Republicans began their attempts to dismantle the Affordable Care Act, Kimmel delivered an emotional defense of the healthcare system after his newborn son needed immediate open-heart surgery. After the speech went viral, Cassidy appeared on CNN where he said any new health care bill would have to pass “the Jimmy Kimmel Test,” ensuring various protections, such as bans on lifetime caps and rate hikes due to pre-existing conditions. Cassidy then appeared on Jimmy Kimmel Live, where he again promoted his view of a health care system that met the “Kimmel Test.”
Four months later, however, Cassidy’s new bill, written with Senator Lindsey Graham, is on the verge of receiving a vote in the Senate, and as Kimmel pointed out: “This new bill actually does pass ‘the Jimmy Kimmel Test’ – but a different ‘Jimmy Kimmel Test.’ In 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.”
Kimmel noted that Graham-Cassidy would kick an expected 30 million people off their insurance, raise premiums and allow individual states to regulate whether insurers can set lifetime caps or discriminate based on pre-existing conditions. The host called Graham-Cassidy worse than the health care bills that failed in the Senate earlier this summer and skewered the bill’s authors for keeping the details under wraps.
“Most of the congresspeople who vote on this bill, probably won’t even read it and they want you to do the same thing,” Kimmel said. “They want us to treat it like an iTunes service agreement. And this guy, Bill Cassidy, just lied right to my face.”
At the end of his monologue, Kimmel urged his audience to call their congresspeople and tell them to oppose Graham-Cassidy (he also urged Cassidy to stop using his name). Kimmel even fired off a pre-emptive retort to his critics: “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.”