The Note: 'Kimmel test' challenges Republicans on health care

PHOTO: Sen. Bill Cassidy, R-La., center, speaks to the media, accompanied by Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Ky., on Capitol Hill, Sept. 19, 2017.PlayAlex Brandon/AP
WATCH The Note: Trump introduces his 'America first' to a global stage

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Maybe it's been a long, long time, but this science isn't so hard to understand. The medical groups ... the bipartisan governors ... the Congressional Budget Office ..."essential health benefits"... Lisa Murkowski and Susan Collins and John McCain ... legislative deadlines ... Mike Pence ... Jimmy Kimmel. Oh, yeah, Kimmel: "They're not taking care of you. They're taking care of the people who give them money," he said on "Jimmy Kimmel Live!" Tuesday night. "This guy Bill Cassidy just lied right to my face." The previous rounds on health care have broken through publicly and politically, so much so that Obamacare's popularity soared to new heights. This rerun of the fight has been quieter, to the GOP's benefit so far. But, as Democrats learned the hard way in the Obama years, Republicans will own the policy as well as the process. GOP leaders have cleared the way for this, even cutting off bipartisan talks around market stabilization to make Graham-Cassidy the only option left. But pursuing their promise under a procedural rush-job won't end the discussion. Sept. 30 is the deadline for action, though there will be no expiration date on the consequences.


The Congressional Budget Office has not finished a full analysis of the Cassidy-Graham health care bill, but previous reports offer some clues. For instance, the Graham-Cassidy legislation would repeal the individual and employer mandates right away; CBO has estimated that move alone would result in about 15 million more Americans without health insurance over the next 10 years. The bill also calls for large cuts to Medicaid funding, which was one of the biggest reasons the CBO said other repeal legislation would lead to even larger numbers of Americans losing access to insurance. Those other bills still include tax credits or subsidies to help people buy insurance. That goes away here. States would get a lump sum with broad flexibility in how they spend the money. There's little guarantee that states spend it to help more people get health insurance. The bill also leaves in place waiver programs, seen in other repeal bills, allowing insurance companies to offer bare-boned plans and charge people more based on health status. The CBO has said such waivers would likely result in premium decreases for some younger, healthier Americans, but big jumps in cost for sicker Americans purchasing on the individual markets, or those who need more coverage. Bottom line: States that want to keep everyone covered under existing law would likely have to pay a lot more, and rights that an individual had to have health coverage would be gone, ABC News' MaryAlice Parks writes.


  • Coming off his "Rocket Man" speech, President Trump has a series of meetings at the United Nations General Assembly, including with Palestinian President Abbas, U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May and Egyptian President El-Sisi.
  • FLOTUS steps out on bullying and children's issues: "No child should ever feel hungry, stalked, frightened, terrorized, bullied, isolated or afraid, with nowhere to turn," Melania Trump will say at today's U.N. luncheon.
  • Special counsel Robert Mueller's investigators interviewed Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein as part of the Russia probe in either June or July, sources told ABC News.
  • The RNC and Trump's re-election campaign are helping pay legal bills for the president and members of his family.

    "I am politicizing my son's health problems because I have to." -- Jimmy Kimmel on the Cassidy-Graham bill

    WHAT TO WATCH TODAY Barack Obama is the keynote speaker at an event today hosted by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and the former president will participate in a "Q&A" at 12:40 p.m. ET.

    House Speaker Paul Ryan heads to Florida and then Texas today to survey hurricane disaster.

    NEED TO READ with ABC News' Kevin Pliszak

    ANALYSIS: Trump launches rhetorical rockets at United Nations. Making American great again, in the view of the man who made that phrase a campaign slogan, means making the world understand that America is redefining the way it is seeking out that greatness. That means absorbing the boasts, name-calling and contradictions in President Trump's first address to the United Nations. Tuesday he lined up a series of rhetorical rockets and all but dared his counterparts in the world community to try to stop him from launching them.

    Senate investigators postpone meeting with Trump lawyer Michael Cohen. Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Richard Burr, R-N.C., and Vice Chairman Mark Warner, D-Va., released a statement after the meeting came to an early and abrupt end, chastising Donald Trump's personal lawyer and longtime confidant Michael Cohen for releasing his own statement before the interview. On Tuesday afternoon, Burr and Warner announced that the committee had invited Cohen to appear at an open hearing Oct. 25, 2017, at 10:00 a.m.

    Inside Graham-Cassidy, the last-minute push by Senate Republicans to resuscitate Obamacare repeal. Congressional Republican efforts to repeal and replace Obamacare appeared to come to a standstill in July, after Sen. John McCain, R-Arizona., cast a "no" vote on the Senate floor. But Monday those efforts to fulfill a signature campaign promise sprung back with considerable momentum as several lawmakers expressed support for a new repeal and replace bill, spearheaded by Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., and Sen. Bill Cassidy, R-La.

    What are Trump's options for the Iran nuclear deal? President Trump faces a series of pivotal challenges at the United Nations General Assembly in New York this week, but among the most fraught foreign policy questions for the new president is what he will do with the Iran nuclear accord. Trump blasted the agreement in his address to the international body Tuesday, calling it "an embarrassment" and "one of the worst and most one-sided transactions the United States has ever entered into."

    Bridge Project is launching a new ad blitz today urging six Republican senators to vote against the Cassidy-Graham bill. Here is the video for one of the ads, targeting Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski.

    Jason Kander, former Missouri secretary of state, shares how his love for the Royals helped build relationships with Afghan soldiers. Listen to the ‘Battery Mates' podcast.

    Sec. Tom Price's private-jet travel breaks precedent. Politico

    GOP governors launch "news" site critics call propaganda. The Associated Press

    Huntsman faces few tough questions in confirmation hearing. Deseret News

    The Note is a daily ABC News feature that highlights the key political moments of the day ahead. Please check back tomorrow for the latest.