Washington: The last-ditch Republican effort to replace Obamacare suffered a bruising verbal assault Tuesday night from TV comedian Jimmy Kimmel, whose emotional appeal against an earlier GOP health-care bill—sparked by his infant son’s near-death congenital heart problem—prompted one senator to promise a “Jimmy Kimmel test" on new legislation.
That senator and co-sponsor of the latest bill, Republican Bill Cassidy of Louisiana, took the brunt of Kimmel’s onslaught. Under the Jimmy Kimmel test, which Cassidy coined on Twitter, GOP legislation must ensure no family should be denied medical care because they can’t afford it.
“A few months ago after my son had open heart surgery, which was something I spoke about on the air, a senator named Bill Cassidy from Louisiana was on my show and he wasn’t very honest. It seemed like he was being honest," Kimmel said. “Bill Cassidy just lied to my face," Kimmel said a few moments later.
The new bill would let states decide how to use federal money to help people get health coverage and would end Obamacare’s requirements that individuals obtain health insurance and that most employers provide it to workers. It would give states flexibility to address the needs of people with pre-existing medical conditions.
“Stop using my name, okay, because I don’t want my name on it," Kimmel said. “There’s a new ‘Jimmy Kimmel’ test for you. It’s called the lie detector test. You’re welcome to stop by the studio and take it anytime."
Cassidy, appearing on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe" on Wednesday, said the legislation would pass the “Jimmy Kimmel" test because “more people will be covered than under the status quo." He said any child with congenital heart disease will get care. “This will bring power to that patient, power to that state for them to have control of their health-care future," he said. Bloomberg
Toluse Olorunnipa contributed to this story.