Evening talk show host Jimmy Kimmel returned to ABC Monday night after sharing a very personal story last week about his newborn son's health scare. Most people were sympathetic to his son's condition, but he received mixed reviews for adding his two cents on the state of health care in America. Some media outlets even dismissed him as an out-of-touch Hollywood elite.
“I would like to apologize for saying that children in America should have health care,” Kimmel sarcastically responded to his critics during his Monday monologue. “It was insensitive. It was offensive and I hope you can find it in your heart to forgive me.”
Kimmel did not hide his displeasure with House Republicans for ignoring his speech and going forward with repealing Obamacare. Yet, he seemed pleasantly surprised by Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-LA), who said last week that the Senate version of the American Health Care Act needs to pass “the Jimmy Kimmel test.”
Kimmel invited Cassidy on his show to discuss the "Jimmy Kimmel test," as well as the Senate's plans to amend the AHCA. The Louisiana senator agreed with Kimmel on the merits of insuring families, but insists it needs to be a plan middle class families can afford.
When asked if the AHCA will help make health care affordable, Cassidy noted that when scored by the CBO, the office said it would actually raise premiums for the first few years.
“On the Senate side we need to make it work,” he said. “We have to be able to afford it both in our taxes and in our personal expenses. I think that’s President Trump’s goal.”
Kimmel told Cassidy he was especially concerned that the Senate bill not allow children who rely on Medicaid to lose their coverage. The senator informed him that most children are covered under the Children's Health Insurance Program - CHIP for short.
Kimmel suggested that his test should be that no family should be denied medical care because they can’t afford it.
Cassidy agreed, but noted, again, that “we’ve got to be able to pay for it.”
“That’s the challenge,” he emphasized. “All those middle class families – we have to make it affordable for them too.”
Kimmel had a suggestion: “Don’t give huge tax cut to millionaires like me.”
Kimmel’s son Billy is thankfully doing “very well” since their emergency scare.