Jimmy Kimmel extended his war of the words with Sen. Bill Cassidy, on his talk show Wednesday night.
Tuesday on Jimmy Kimmel Live, the show host interpreted the Graham-Cassidy health care bill as evidence that the senator "lied right to (his) face" about his plan for health care during an appearance on the show in May.
"Last night on our show... a senator from Louisiana, Bill Cassidy, I took him to task for promising to my face that he would oppose any health care plan that allowed insurance companies to turn people with pre-existing conditions away and any health care plan that had an annual or lifetime cap on how much they would pay out for medical care," Kimmel reminded his audience Wednesday. "He said anything he supported would have to pass what he named the 'Jimmy Kimmel Test,' which was fine. It was good, but unfortunately, and puzzlingly, he proposed a bill that would allow states to do all the things he said he would not let them do.
"He made a total about-face," Kimmel added, "which means he either doesn't understand his own bill, or he lied to me."
On Wednesday morning, Cassidy responded to Kimmel's monologue from the previous evening on CNN's New Day. "I’m sorry he does not understand," Cassidy told Chris Cuomo. "Under (the bill) more people will have coverage, and we protect those with pre-existing conditions."
As Kimmel sees it, Cassidy "pulled the 'all comedians are dummies' card."
"I don't understand because I'm a talk show host, right?" Kimmel said.
"Now look, I don’t want to turn this into a Kanye and Taylor Swift type situation, but when Sen. Cassidy was on my show in May, he told me that he believed that every American family regardless of income should be able to get quality health care," Kimmel continued. "And I believed he was sincere. Sadly, the bill he unveiled last week with Sen. Lindsey Graham indicates that he was not sincere. It is, by many accounts, the worst health care bill yet."
While the Graham-Cassidy bill would keep the requirement that insurance companies offer coverage to people with pre-existing conditions, states can apply for waivers that could allow them to charge more. States could also apply for waivers for certain coverage currently mandated under Obamacare — like hospitalization and maternity care — and could weaken protections on imposing caps.
It is difficult to know how many people will gain or lose coverage and what premiums will cost because the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office has not released a comprehensive analysis of the bill.
Kimmel continued his monologue Wednesday by addressing critics like Fox & Friends co-host Brian Kilmeade, who Kimmel said sucks up to him "like a little boy meeting Batman." Kilmeade charged Kimmel with "pushing (his) politics on the rest of the country."
"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," the late night host said. "I don’t get anything out of this, Brian, you phony little creep. Oh, I’ll pound you when I see you."
Kimmel also took aim at Gov. Chris Christie and Sen. Lindsey Graham.
At the monologue's close, he issued another plea for viewers to contact their senators, singling out residents in Nevada, Alaska, Maine, West Virginia and Arizona.
"Please," he begged, "stop texting for five seconds and make a phone call."
Eliza Collins contributed to this report.
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