Jimmy Kimmel railed against a new Republican plan to repeal and replace Obamacare, this time calling one senator a liar for claiming that he supported a healthcare bill that guaranteed coverage for all families.
The senator, Bill Cassidy of Louisiana, has been saying that any type of healthcare plan had to pass what he called the “Jimmy Kimmel test” — a testament to the ability of late night TV to influence political debate.
But in his monologue on Tuesday, Kimmel said that Cassidy “wasn’t very honest,” posting to the legislation that Cassidy co-authored with Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.).
“I don’t know what happened to Bill Cassidy,” Kimmel said. “But when he was on this publicity tour, he listed his demands for a health-care bill very clearly. These were his words. He said he wants coverage for all, no discrimination based on preexisting conditions, lower premiums for middle-class families and no lifetime caps. Guess what? The new bill does none of those things.”
Earlier this year, Kimmel talked about the wrenching experience of seeing his son go through open heart surgery, and he talked of the importance of lower and middle class families having such coverage in the event of such an emergency. After seeing the monologue and using the term “Jimmy Kimmel test.” Cassidy appeared on his show.
But Kimmel said that Cassidy “just lied right to my face” when he was on the show, noting that he had said that his plan would not allow insurance companies to impose annual or lifetime caps on coverage.
On Tuesday, Kimmel said that “this new bill actually does pass the Jimmy Kimmel test, but a different Jimmy Kimmel test. With 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.”
He called for Cassidy to stop using his name cause I don’t want my name on it.”
Then he addressed Cassidy directly. “There’s a new Jimmy Kimmel test for you, it’s called the lie detector test. You’re welcome to stop by the studio and take it anytime,” he said.
Kimmel then posted his monologue on Twitter with the number for the Capitol Hill switchboard.
Update: Cassidy responded to Kimmel in an appearance on CNN on Wednesday.
“I’m sorry he did not understand” the bill, he said, adding that under the legislation “more people would have coverage and we protect those with pre-existing conditions.”
Critics, though, say that the legislation will weaken Obamacare’s protections of those with pre-existing conditions by allowing states to get waivers to allow insurers to price plans higher for those who have a chronic illness.