Jimmy Kimmel, the late-night talk show host who has been a vocal detractor of efforts to repeal Obamacare, has reportedly been working with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D., N.Y.) for months to oppose the latest bill put forth by Republicans.
As host of “Jimmy Kimmel Live,” Kimmel uses his platform to poke fun at issues every weeknight. Multiple times, he’s opposed a repeal of the Affordable Care Act. His public commentary comes as he defends coverage of pre-existing conditions.
His son was born with a congenital heart disease, and he believes that the various repeal bills would leave the door open to deny coverage for people with pre-existing conditions, like his son.
Kimmel most notably spoke out in a May monologue, in which he stated: “You know, before 2014, if you were born with congenital heart disease like my son was, there’s a good chance you’d never be able to get health insurance because you had a pre-existing condition. You were born with a pre-existing condition. If your parents didn’t have medical insurance, you might not even live long enough to get denied because of your pre-existing condition. If your baby is going to die and it doesn’t have to, it shouldn’t matter how much money you make. I think that’s something that whether you’re a Republican or a Democrat or something else, we all agree on that, right? We do.”
After the monologue, some pundits and observers referred to “The Jimmy Kimmel Test” when assessing various healthcare legislation proposals.
Senator Bill Cassidy (R-La.), told Kimmel in May that he’d only support legislation which would ensure children with pre-existing conditions would have health coverage. Kimmel claimed the most recent repeal effort, proposed by and Cassidy and fellow Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham (S.C.), which would repeal and replace Obamacare, did not pass the “test.”
Kimmel publicly opposed the bill, siding with Jennifer Rubin, a Washington Post writer, who wrote an editorial which argued that the bill’s “few restrictions on how states reconstitute their own system” indicate that the bill “doesn’t remotely pass” the Jimmy Kimmel Test.
His outcry was supported by Schumer’s office, reported the The Daily Beast. Schumer “provided technical guidance and info about the bill, as well as stats from various think tanks and experts on the effects of [Graham-Cassidy].”
According to The Beast, Schumer encouraged Kimmel to speak out in opposition to Graham/Cassidy bill.
In turn, Kimmel slammed Cassidy, Fox News co-host Brian Kilmeade, and other Republicans for their criticism of his commentary against the Graham-Cassidy bill.
“The reason I’m talking about this is because my son had an open-heart surgery, then has to have two more, and because of that I learned that there are kids with no insurance in the same situation. I don’t get anything out of this, Brian, you phony little creep. Oh I’ll pound you when I see you,” he said Wednesday night.
When Sen. John McCain (R., Ariz.) announced that he “cannot in good conscience vote for the Graham-Cassidy proposal,” Kimmel was quick to thank him on Twitter, as were other celebrities and liberal leaning organizations.
Kimel wrote: “Thank you @SenJohnMcCain for being a hero again and again and now AGAIN.”
Thank you @SenJohnMcCain for being a hero again and again and now AGAIN
— Jimmy Kimmel (@jimmykimmel) September 22, 2017
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