Jimmy Kimmel, left, and Molly McNearney attend the Governors Ball for the 69th Primetime Emmy Awards at the Los Angeles Convention Center on Sunday, Sept. 17, 2017, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Alex Berliner/Invision for the Television Academy/AP Images)

Jimmy Kimmel Rips Bill Cassidy Over Health Bill

Late night host Jimmy Kimmel veered off into leftist politics again last night when he ripped into Senator Bill Cassidy (R-La.). In a seven-minute monologue on Jimmy Kimmel live, Kimmel charged that Cassidy “lied right to my face” about promises that he made to Kimmel regarding Obamacare reform in an appearance on the show in May.

The controversy centers over Cassidy’s promise that a healthcare reform bill would meet the “Jimmy Kimmel test,” a term that Kimmel says was coined by the senator. “In a nutshell,” Kimmel said, the test holds that “no family should be denied medical care — emergency or otherwise — because they can’t afford it.”

“He said he would only support a healthcare bill that made sure a child like mine would get the health coverage he needs,” Kimmel continued, “no matter how much money his parents make, and that did not have annual or lifetime caps.”

Cassidy appeared on Kimmel’s show in response to another monologue in which Kimmel described how his infant son required heart surgery that could be considered a pre-existing condition.

Dr. James Madara, president of the American Medical Association, wrote in Fortune that the bill could possibly allow states to opt out of affordable coverage for pre-existing conditions. “While insurers are still required to offer coverage to patients with pre-existing conditions,” Madara wrote, “allowing states to get waivers to vary premiums based on health status would allow insurers to charge unaffordable premiums based on those pre-existing conditions.”

Kimmel said that the Graham-Cassidy bill passed a different Jimmy Kimmel test. “Your child with the pre-existing condition will get the care he needs if – and only if – his father is Jimmy Kimmel. Otherwise, you might be screwed,” he joked.

While the bill does not eliminated coverage for pre-existing conditions or allow insurance companies to establish caps for lifetime benefits, the bill does return the power to regulate insurance to the states. Politico notes, “States would be allowed to apply for waivers that could change what qualifies as an essential health benefit,” a term originally defined by the Affordable Care Act. The waivers could “impact people with pre-existing conditions and undermine prohibitions on annual and lifetime limits for insurance coverage.”

Kimmel thanked Senators Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), Susan Collins (R-Maine) and John McCain (R-Ariz.) for voting to kill the previous Republican healthcare bill. He urged the trio to vote against Graham-Cassidy as well.

In a part shot, Kimmel invited Cassidy to work for a health care bill that met with Kimmel’s approval, “and if not, stop using my name, because I don’t want my name on it.”

“There’s a new Jimmy Kimmel test for you,” Kimmel scolded Cassidy. “It’s called a lie detector test. You’re welcome to stop by the studio and take it anytime.”

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David Thornton

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