Jimmy Kimmel Says Sen. Cassidy Fell Short Of Standard For Obamacare Repeal Late-night host Jimmy Kimmel credits good healthcare to saving the life of his newborn son. That led Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-La.), a medical doctor, to say that any replacement of the Affordable Care Act should pass "The Jimmy Kimmel Test." Now, Kimmel says Cassidy has fallen short of that with his new bill being considered by Congress.
NPR logo

Jimmy Kimmel Says Sen. Cassidy Fell Short Of Standard For Obamacare Repeal

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/552418180/552418181" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript
Jimmy Kimmel Says Sen. Cassidy Fell Short Of Standard For Obamacare Repeal

Jimmy Kimmel Says Sen. Cassidy Fell Short Of Standard For Obamacare Repeal

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/552418180/552418181" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

AILSA CHANG, HOST:

Now the story of a senator and a late-night host in a public feud over this health care bill.

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

It started back in May. Jimmy Kimmel's wife gave birth to a baby boy who was born with a heart condition. Kimmel recounted his son's surgery and recovery on the show.

(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, "JIMMY KIMMEL LIVE!")

JIMMY KIMMEL: If your baby is going to die and it doesn't have to, it shouldn't matter how much money you make. I think that's something that - whether you're a Republican or a Democrat or something else, we all agree on that, right? I mean we do.

(CHEERING, APPLAUSE)

CHANG: A lot of people heard him. One of them was Senator Bill Cassidy. Later that week, he coined a phrase on CNN while talking about some of the proposals to repeal the Affordable Care Act.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

BILL CASSIDY: I asked, does it pass the Jimmy Kimmel test? Would a child born with a congenital heart disease be able to get everything she or he would need in that first year of life?

SHAPIRO: A few days later, Senator Cassidy came on "Jimmy Kimmel Live!" on ABC to talk about health care, and they had a friendly rapport.

(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, "JIMMY KIMMEL LIVE!")

KIMMEL: Do you believe that every American regardless of income should be able to get regular checkups, maternity care, et cetera - all of those things that people who have health care get and need?

CASSIDY: Yep.

CHANG: Fast forward to last night.

(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, "JIMMY KIMMEL LIVE!")

KIMMEL: This guy Bill Cassidy just lied right to my face.

CHANG: Kimmel ripped into the Graham-Cassidy bill.

(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, "JIMMY KIMMEL LIVE!")

KIMMEL: So yep is Washington for nope I guess.

(LAUGHTER)

SHAPIRO: This morning Senator Bill Cassidy fired back, saying Kimmel doesn't understand the bill.

CHANG: As Senator Cassidy works to secure the votes needed to pass this bill, Jimmy Kimmel is urging his viewers to pressure their representatives to vote against it.

SHAPIRO: In a few days, we'll know which appeal was most compelling to lawmakers still on the fence.

(SOUNDBITE OF BON IVER SONG, "HOLOCENE")

Copyright © 2017 NPR. All rights reserved. Visit our website terms of use and permissions pages at www.npr.org for further information.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by Verb8tm, Inc., an NPR contractor, and produced using a proprietary transcription process developed with NPR. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.