Over the past few nights Jimmy Kimmel has had a lot of intelligent, well-informed, and sometimes funny things to say about the Cassidy-Graham healthcare bill, and the bill’s defenders have struck back with name-calling and falsehoods. Senator “John Kennedy” (R-Bizarro World) dishonestly suggested that Kimmel and Bernie Sanders were the main opponents of the bill, leaving out the almost-universal opposition of healthcare organizations such as the American Medical Association, the American Heart Association, in fact pretty much any outfit that includes “American” and something related to healthcare in its name.
One major problem with the bill — one of many — is that the bill does not protect people with pre-existing conditions (like Jimmy Kimmel’s son, born with a heart defect). Anyone who tells you it does is either misinformed or lying. Nothing in the bill stops companies from pricing such polices so high that no one could afford them. Some of the bill’s defenders claim state laws would prevent that, but experience says otherwise. Until Obamacare came along, many people with pre-existing conditions couldn’t buy coverage, and only a few states helped them.
Even Fox News had the guts to ask Vice President Pence about it, and he simply changed the subject (and as a bonus falsely ascribed a Henry David Thoreau quote to Thomas Jefferson).
Here’s Kimmel’s latest:
For more intelligent commentary from Kimmel and others, see this post from yesterday.
Also, see this article by Ian Crouch from The New Yorker (posted yesterday on their website) about Jimmy Kimmel’s reluctant entry into politics, prompted by his newborn son’s nearly fatal heart defect, which at the time prompted him to say tearfully that no family should have to decide whether they could afford to save their child’s life. That led Senator Cassidy to promise he would support healthcare legislation that passes what Cassidy called “the Jimmy Kimmel test,” including on Jimmy Kimmel’s show. It was Cassidy’s breaking of that promise that prompted Kimmel to speak up.