Guy has been covering the back-and-forth between late night host Jimmy Kimmel and Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-LA). The Louisiana Republican, along with Sen. Lindsey Graham, is engaging in a last-ditch effort to pass a Republican health care bill that seems doomed now that Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) decided to oppose the measure. The vote for the Graham-Cassidy legislation is slated for next week. Yet, Kimmel, whose son was born with a heart issue, has been slamming the GOP plan. If it sounds like Kimmel is rehashing Democratic talking points about the bill, maybe that’s because he was speaking with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), according to the Daily Beast:
Jimmy Kimmel’s nightly monologues decrying Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and Bill Cassidy’s (R-LA) bill became must-see TV, as the ABC host systematically attacked both the specifics of the legislation and Cassidy himself.
Behind the scenes, the ABC star was getting an assist. Kimmel and his team were in touch with health care officials, charities and advocacy groups, multiple sources told The Daily Beast. He also was in touch with the office of Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y) who, according to a source familiar with their conversations, “provided technical guidance and info about the bill, as well as stats from various think tanks and experts on the effects of [Graham-Cassidy].”
The three episodes in which Kimmel tore apart both Cassidy—who had previously insisted that any health care bill pass a so-called “Jimmy Kimmel test”—and the bill’s specifics helped galvanize public and political opposition to the legislation. On Friday, that legislation appeared to have effectively died, at least for now, after Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) announced that he would not back the measure without fuller hearings and amendments. Kimmel quickly took to Twitter to personally thank McCain for potentially tanking the legislation.
Sen. Susan Collins is leaning no on the bill, with Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) already firmly in the nay column. Senate Republicans could only afford to lose two votes.
.@SenJoniErnst gets a Graham-Cassidy Q. "I'll be honest, it seems unlikely that we'll be voting on this." Room bursts into applause.— Dave Weigel (@daveweigel) September 22, 2017
Ernst, asked if she's talking to Iowa's Medicaid director about Graham-Cassidy, reiterates that Graham-Cassidy is likely dead.— Dave Weigel (@daveweigel) September 22, 2017
Guy noted that Kimmel should have just invited Graham on his show to debate the bill when he wrote about the misconceptions that were articulated in the late night host’s monologues:
As I suggest below, he should have Lindsey Graham on his show to debate the merits of the bill and to address some of Kimmel's attacks against it.Perhaps Graham can explain policy trade-offs to Kimmel, who seems rather shaky on the concept (the more "essential" health benefits are mandated for every plan in America, the more plans will cost for a lot of people who don't want or need deluxe/comprehensive coverage, pricing people out of the marketplace). This general issue is deeply and understandably personal to Kimmel because of his son's condition. But part of his problem is that he doesn't know anyone in his life for whom Obamacare has been harmful, which blinds him to a major part of the story.
If Kimmel presumes to speak for Americans on healthcare, he should do more homework and actually take the time to learn and internalize the stories of people who've lived through Obamacare nightmares.