Late-night host Jimmy Kimmel accused a Republican senator spearheading the latest effort to repeal Obamacare of ‘lying to my face’ on Tuesday.
In an impassioned six-minute monologue on his ABC show, Kimmel tore into Senator Bill Cassidy of Louisiana for promoting legislation that could result in millions of Americans losing their health insurance.
Kimmel accused Cassidy of lying to him in May when the senator appeared on his show and pledged that any health care bill passed by the Republican-controlled Congress would ensure coverage for routine checkups regardless of income.
Cassidy was a guest on Kimmel’s show after the late-night comedian revealed that his newborn son, Billy, underwent open-heart surgery due to a congenital defect just hours after he was born on April 21.
Late-night host Jimmy Kimmel accused a Republican senator spearheading the latest effort to repeal Obamacare of ‘lying to my face’ on Tuesday
In an impassioned six-minute monologue on his ABC show, Kimmel tore into Senator Bill Cassidy (seen right appearing with Kimmel on his May 8 show) of Louisiana for promoting legislation that could result in millions of Americans losing their health insurance
On May 1, Kimmel went on the air and tearfully revealed the news of his son’s condition.
Billy was born at Cedars-Sinai, but had to be rushed to Children’s Hospital Los Angeles for emergency open heart surgery.
In an appeal to politicians not to do away with the Affordable Health Care Act, Kimmel said his family’s ordeal made him all-too aware of the need for free healthcare for children.
‘I hope you never have to go there but if you do you’ll see so many kids from so many financial backgrounds being cared for so well with so much compassion.
Cassidy was a guest on Kimmel’s show after the late-night comedian revealed that his newborn son, Billy, underwent open-heart surgery due to a congenital defect just hours after he was born on April 21
On May 8, the comedian shared an adorable video of Billy yawning in his mother’s arms as he told the studio audience that he was recovering ‘well’
‘If your baby is going to die it should’t matter how much money you make,’ he said.
He then went on a week-long hiatus and returned the following Monday.
On the May 8 program, Kimmel pleaded with Republicans to vote against the repeal-and-replace health care bill that was eventually voted down in the Senate.
During that show, Cassidy told Kimmel that he would only back a health care measure that passed ‘the Jimmy Kimmel test’, which the senator said would enable a sick child ‘in the first year of life’ to be covered for cases like that which affected Billy Kimmel regardless of income level.
‘This guy, Bill Cassidy, just lied right to my face,’ Kimmel said on Tuesday.
‘I don’t know what happened,’ Kimmel said.
‘Not only did he fail “the Jimmy Kimmel test,” he failed the Bill Cassidy test.’
‘It seemed like he was being honest,’ Kimmel said of Cassidy on Tuesday.
Kimmel said he and his wife Molly (above with Billy and their daughter Jane) were ‘very grateful’ for the ‘outpouring of love’
He shared a heartwarming photograph of his two-year-old daughter playing nurse for her little brother on Twitter
Kimmel took a week-long hiatus from his show in order to spend time with Billy at the family’s home after he made the tearful revelation
‘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 something that he called… the Jimmy Kimmel test.’
Cassidy told Kimmel that he would only support a bill that provided coverage for all, didn’t discriminate against those with pre-existing conditions, lowered premiums for middle-class families, and did away with lifetime caps.
Kimmel said on Tuesday that the latest attempt to repeal Obamacare meets none of those criteria.
‘Before you post a nasty Facebook message saying I’m politicizing my son’s health problems, I want you to know: I am politicizing my son’s health problems because I have to,’ Kimmel said to applause from the live studio audience.
‘My family has health insurance we don’t have to worry about this, but other people do,’ he said.
‘So, you can shove your disgusting comments where your doctor won’t be giving you a prostate exam once they take your health care benefits away.’
Three hours after he was born, a sonogram revealed that a pulmonary valve in Billy’s heart was completely blocked. Now the comedian says his son is doing well
‘We can’t let them do this to our children, our senior citizens, our veterans, or to any of us,’ Kimmel said.
‘Your child with a pre-existing condition will get the care he needs, if and only if as his father is Jimmy Kimmel,’ he said.
‘Otherwise you might be screwed.’
Senate Republicans are making one last attempt to overhaul Obamacare before a special parliamentary procedure allowing the bill to pass with a simple majority expires at the end of this month.
The latest proposal, called the Graham-Cassidy bill and sponsored by Republican Senators Cassidy, Lindsey Graham, Dean Heller and Ron Johnson, would give states money in the form of block grants, allowing them to design their own healthcare systems while maintaining some regulations of the Affordable Care Act, former Democratic President Barack Obama’s signature domestic policy achievement.
The federal funding would run out by 2027, and after that would need to be reauthorized.
The bill gained momentum this week as Republicans aim to deliver on a seven-year campaign promise and one of President Donald Trump’s top campaign pledges.
The bill’s sponsors say they are close to the 50 votes needed for passage, with Vice President Mike Pence casting the tie-breaking vote if necessary.