The GOP's new Obamacare repeal and replacement plan is not going over well with late-night comedian Jimmy Kimmel, who went so far as to brand Republican Sen. Bill Cassidy "a liar" over the health care bill he is co-sponsoring with Sen. Lindsey Graham.
Kimmel first garnered attention in the healthcare debate when he described his experience after learning his newborn son was born with congenital heart disease back in May. He used the story as a platform to advocate affordable healthcare coverage for lower and middle-class families who might not be able to afford emergency surgery.
"No parent should ever have to decide if they can afford to save their child’s life," Kimmel said in the May monologue.
VICE reports that Cassidy went on CNN in the week following Kimmel's monologue.
"I ask, does it pass the Jimmy Kimmel test?," Cassidy said, referring to his stance on healthcare. "Would a child born with congenital heart disease be able to get everything he or she would need in that first year of life?"
Cassidy subsequently appeared on 'Jimmy Kimmel Live!' and expressed his solidarity for providing affordable healthcare for families who could not afford it.
On Sept. 19, Kimmel claimed that Cassidy "just lied right to my face" during his previous appearance, saying that the Louisiana senator had said his plan would not allow insurance companies to place annual or lifetime caps on health coverage. The Washington Post provided a transcription of Kimmel's monologue:
It seemed like [Cassidy] was being honest. He got a lot of credit and attention for coming off like a rare, reasonable voice in the Republican Party when it came to healthcare for coming up with something he called — and I didn’t name it this, he named it this — the Jimmy Kimmel test, which was in a nutshell: No family should be denied medical care, emergency or otherwise, because they can’t afford it...
...So last week, Bill Cassidy and Senator Lindsey Graham proposed a new bill, the Graham-Cassidy bill. And this new bill actually does pass the Jimmy Kimmel test, but a different Jimmy Kimmel test. With this one, your child with a preexisting condition will get the care he needs—if, and only if, his father is Jimmy Kimmel. Otherwise, you might be screwed.
Kimmel later asked Cassidy to stop using his name to promote his healthcare bill.
"There's a new Jimmy Kimmel test for you," he addressed to Cassidy. "It's called the lie detector test. You're welcome to stop by the studio and take it anytime."
NBC reports that Kimmel posted his monologue on Twitter alongside the caption:
"If you too are disappointed in Sen @BillCassidy #GrahamCassidy let them know it - call (202) 224-3121."
On Sept. 20, Cassidy discussed the monologue on CNN.
"I am sorry [Kimmel] does not understand," Cassidy said to host Chris Cuomo.
According to Cassidy, the bill will provide more people with coverage and protection than Obamacare.
"States like Maine, Virginia, Florida, Missouri, there will be billions more dollars to provide health insurance coverage for those in those states who have been passed by by Obamacare," Cassidy added, "and we protect those with preexisting conditions."