Publicly accusing Sen. Bill Cassidy of lying to his face on his show, Jimmy Kimmel took another stand for patients’ rights on Tuesday night while offering the dishonest senator a new “Jimmy Kimmel test”: a liar detector test. Although Cassidy claims that a new health care bill introduced by himself and Sen. Lindsey Graham will provide lower premiums with coverage for all, the late night comedian verbally eviscerated their bill while contextualizing his infant son’s pre-existing heart condition.
“A few months ago, after my son had open-heart surgery, which was something I spoke about on the air, a politician named Bill Cassidy from Louisiana was on my show and he wasn’t very honest,” Kimmel explained during Tuesday’s show. “It seemed like he was being honest. He got a lot of credit and attention for coming off like a rare, reasonable voice in the Republican party when it came to health care, for coming up with something he called, and I didn’t name it this, he named it this: ‘The Jimmy Kimmel test,’ which was in a nutshell: no family should be denied medical care in an emergency or otherwise because they can’t afford it.”
Kimmel pointed out that American families with an average income or less would not be able to afford medical care for their children with severe pre-existing conditions under Cassidy’s new legislation. Despite the fact that Cassidy claimed his bill would provide coverage for all, no discrimination against pre-existing conditions, and lower premiums for lower-income families, Kimmel called the senator a liar and asserted that only affluent families would be able to provide health care for their children suffering with pre-existing conditions.
“He said he wants coverage for all, no discrimination based on pre-existing conditions, lower premiums for middle class families, and no lifetime caps,” Kimmel continued. “And guess what? The new bill does none of those things.
“Coverage for all? No. In fact, it will take about 30 million Americans off insurance. Pre-existing conditions? No. If the bill passes, individual states can let insurance companies charge you more if you have a pre-existing condition. You’ll find that little loophole later in the document, after it says they can’t. They can, and they will. But will it lower premiums? Well, in fact for lots of people, the bill will result in higher premiums. And as far as lifetime caps go, the states can decide on that, too, which means there will be lifetime caps in many states. So not only did Bill Cassidy fail the Jimmy Kimmel test, but he also failed the Bill Cassidy test.”
Kimmel accused Cassidy’s new legislation of being worse than the GOP health care bill that was narrowly defeated in July. The late night talk show host also praised Sens. Susan Collins, John McCain, and Lisa Murkowski for taking a stand for patients’ rights by standing against their own political party in voting against the prior bill.
“Most of the congresspeople who vote on this bill probably won’t even read it,” Kimmel added. “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.”
Kimmel concluded by pointing out that numerous patient groups and charitable organizations, including the American Cancer Society, American Diabetes Association, ALS Association, March of Dimes, and many others, oppose Cassidy’s legislation. Last week, six leading physician groups, including the American Academy of Family Physicians, the American College of Physicians, and the American Academy of Pediatrics, sent a letter to congressional leaders urging them to “set aside the Graham/Cassidy proposal and, instead, focus on bipartisan efforts to stabilize the health insurance marketplaces, create competition among insurers, and lower the costs of health.”
With a deadline set for September 30, many Republican Senators appear anxious to push the bill through with at least 50 votes. On Tuesday, Kimmel took to Twitter and posted a video encouraging his audience to call members of Congress and voice their concerns regarding the new GOP health care legislation.
“Instead of focusing on preventing the deportation of vulnerable young immigrants, the Senate is rushing forward with legislation to repeal the Affordable Care Act, gut Medicaid, and ‘defund’ Planned Parenthood,” asserted ACLU National Political Director Faiz Shakir. “This plan is worse than the bill we defeated this summer – with millions of people set to lose their care.”