Jimmy Kimmel slams senator for lying about new health care bill

Bill Cassidy had come on Kimmel's show earlier this year to talk health care.

September 20, 2017, 2:02 AM

— -- Jimmy Kimmel slammed Republican Sen. Bill Cassidy of Louisiana on his show Tuesday night for proposing new health care legislation that Kimmel said fails the "Jimmy Kimmel test" that Cassidy himself had proposed in an appearance on "Jimmy Kimmel Live!" in May.

Cassidy appeared on the program earlier this year after Kimmel made an emotional plea for health care legislation that would insure affordable health coverage for all, including people with pre-existing conditions and with no lifetime caps, in the wake of Kimmel's newborn son needing life-saving heart surgery.

But Kimmel said Wednesday night the new legislation Cassidy and co-sponsor Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., have proposed in the Senate did not meet those requirements.

"Not only did Bill Cassidy fail the Jimmy Kimmel test, he failed the Bill Cassidy test," Kimmel said. "He failed his own test."

Kimmel didn't mince words for Cassidy, who Kimmel said "wasn't very honest" when he appeared on the show in the spring.

"I don't know what happened to Bill Cassidy, 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 pre-existing conditions, lower premiums for middle class families and no lifetime caps. And guess what? The new bill does none of those things," Kimmel said.

The proposed plan, spearheaded by Graham and Cassidy, would give states the option to obtain waivers that would allow them to charge people with pre-existing conditions more for some plans in their states, and while it's likely that insurers would still be required to offer choices to those with pre-existing plans, they could potentially limit coverage options as well.

Speaking directly to Cassidy, Kimmel said, "Stop using my name, all right, 'cause I don't want my name on it. There's a new Jimmy Kimmel test for you, it's called a lie detector test, you're welcome to come by the studio and take it any time."

Kimmel also had strong words for critics on social media unhappy that he has turned his son's health into a political cause.

"Before you post the 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," he said.

Kimmel listed the many health care organizations that have opposed the legislation and called on viewers to take action saying of bill's backers.

"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," Kimmel said. "They're taking care of the people who give them money, like insurance companies, and we're all just looking at our Instagram accounts, liking things, while they're voting on whether people can afford to keep their children alive or not.

"Most of the Congress people who will vote this probably won't even read it. They want to us to do the same thing," Kimmel continued. "They want us to treat it like an iTunes service agreement. And this guy Bill Cassidy lied right to my face."

Kimmel had nicer words for Cassidy back in May, saying he approved of the test proposed by the senator.

"I happen to like [the test] a lot," Kimmel said at the time. "He is a doctor -– a gastroenterologist. He is married to a retired doctor -- his wife Laura, was a surgeon. And he co-founded the Greater Baton Rouge Community Clinic, which provides free dental care and health care to the working uninsured. So obviously -– this is someone who cares about people's health."

Kimmel tweeted a photo of himself and his son Billy earlier in the day on Tuesday saying he was working on a message for Cassidy in his monologue.

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