Jimmy Kimmel calls out the senator who “lied” to him about the health-care bill

Tell it like it is.
Tell it like it is.
Image: Reuters/Kevork Djansezian
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A last-ditch Republican plan to replace Obamacare just pissed off the wrong late-night talk show host.

Republican members of Congress are so hell-bent on repealing Obamacare that “they are trying to sneak this scam of a bill they cooked up in without an analysis from the bipartisan budget office” an exasperated Jimmy Kimmel told his audience last night (Sept. 19).

The ABC host laid into senator Bill Cassidy, the bill’s co-sponsor, who previously vowed to follow a “Jimmy Kimmel test” to ensure that people wouldn’t be denied health care because they couldn’t afford it.

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Kimmel made headlines a few months ago when he made a passionate appeal against a previous GOP bill, citing the cost of treating his newborn son’s congenital heart defect.

Back then, Cassidy appeared on Jimmy Kimmel Live and “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,” the host said last night.

“Senator Cassidy, you were on my show, you seem like you’re a decent guy. But here’s the thing: Nobody outside of your buddies in Congress wants this bill…Right now, there’s a bipartisan group of senators working to improve the health-care system we have…pitch in and be a part of that…And if not? Stop using my name.”

In his seven-minute monologue, Kimmel runs down the details on lifetime health-care cost caps, what Cassidy promised versus what the bill offers, and the organizations that oppose it. It’s a far cry from the one-liners of his usual opening segment.

“This bill that he came up with is actually worse” than the one senators John McCain, Susan Collins, and Lisa Murkowski torpedoed last time, Kimmel said.

“Listen, health care is complicated, it’s boring, I don’t want to talk about it,” he said. “I am politicizing my son’s health- care problems, because I have to.”

Cassidy insisted this morning (Sept.20) that the bill will protect those with pre-existing conditions. ”I’m sorry he does not understand,” Cassidy told CNN, adding, “states like Maine, Virginia, Florida, Missouri—there’ll be billions more dollars to provide health insurance coverage for those in those states that have been passed by Obamacare.”

The bill would permit states to allow people with pre-existing conditions to be charged higher premiums, The Hill reports.

It’s unclear if the  bill—which would replace replace federal insurance subsidies with direct funding to states—will secure the necessary support of Senate Republicans. A vote must take place no later than Sept. 30, under Senate budget rules.