Jimmy Kimmel's Emotional Health Care Plea Appears to Have Won Over One Republican Senator

Three days before House Republicans effectively voted to repeal Obamacare, late-night comedian Jimmy Kimmel issued a personal plea on behalf of millions of Americans with pre-existing conditions—like his newborn son.

"Before 2014 [when Obamacare came into being], if you were born with congenital heart disease like my son was, there was a good chance you wouldn’t be able to get health insurance because you had a pre-existing condition,” Kimmel said. “If your baby is going to die, and it doesn’t have to, it shouldn’t matter how much money you make."

His message caught the attention of Republican Senator Bill Cassidy (R-LA), who told CNN's John Berman Friday that he couldn't support a health care bill unless it passes the "Jimmy Kimmel test."

"I ask does it pass the Jimmy Kimmel test. Would the child born with a congenital heart disease be able to get everything she or he would need in that first year of life ... even if they go over a certain amount? So simple answer: I want to make sure folks get the care they need."

The following week, Cassidy joined Kimmel's show to relay his concerns. 

"Thank you for naming a test after me," Kimmel told Cassidy in his introduction on Monday. "I always figured if I ever got a test named after me, it would be for some embarrassing sexually transmitted disease."

For his part, Cassidy took the president to task for breaking his original "contract" to the American people. He also encouraged concerned voters to call their senators on both sides of the aisle. 

"Say we've got to fulfill President Trump's contract, lowering premiums with coverage that passes the Jimmy Kimmel Test," the Lousiana Republican insisted. 

"Do you believe that every American, regardless of income, should be able to get regular check-ups, maternity care, etc., all of those things that people who have health care get and need?" Kimmel asked.

"Yep," Cassidy told him. 

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. AlterNet’s journalists work tirelessly to counter the traditional corporate media narrative. We’re here seven days a week, 365 days a year. And we’re proud to say that we’ve been bringing you the real, unfiltered news for 20 years—longer than any other progressive news site on the Internet.

It’s through the generosity of our supporters that we’re able to share with you all the underreported news you need to know. Independent journalism is increasingly imperiled; ads alone can’t pay our bills. AlterNet counts on readers like you to support our coverage. Did you enjoy content from David Cay Johnston, Common Dreams, Raw Story and Robert Reich? Opinion from Salon and Jim Hightower? Analysis by The Conversation? Then join the hundreds of readers who have supported AlterNet this year.

Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Help ensure AlterNet remains independent long into the future. Support progressive journalism with a one-time contribution to AlterNet, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click here to donate by check.

DonateDonate by credit card


Thanks for your support!

Did you enjoy AlterNet this year? Join us! We're offering AlterNet ad-free for 15% off - just $2 per week. From now until March 15th.