Lindsey Graham, Bill Cassidy, Ron Johnson, Dean Heller

From left, Sen. Dean Heller, R-Nev., Sen. Bill Cassidy, R-La., Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., and Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., hold a press conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Sept. 13, 2017, to unveil legislation to reform health care. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik) ORG XMIT: DCAH124

Andrew Harnik

Jimmy Kimmel's not exactly Walter Cronkite, and losing the support of a late night comic on health care isn't quite the same as losing America's most trusted anchor on Vietnam.

Still, U.S. Sen. Bill Cassidy's last minute effort to unravel the Affordable Care Act before favorable procedural terms expire next week clearly fails the "Jimmy Kimmel test."

That, of course, is a phrase Cassidy coined earlier this year when he sought to piggyback on Kimmel's emotional monologue delivered after his son was born with a heart defect. As a well-off parent, Kimmel called on Republican politicians racing to undo former President Barack Obama's signature health care law to continue protecting patients from financial ruin if they have pre-existing conditions or require care so costly that it would exceed previously legal lifetime limits. No parent in America, Kimmel tearfully pleaded, should have to worry about such things.

Cassidy, a physician who won his seat in 2014 on a promise to undo Obamacare, quickly seized on Kimmel's story and made headlines by vowing to craft a plan that would meet Kimmel's entirely reasonable terms.

But the proposal he's now pushing along with South Carolina U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham and some other GOP colleagues, does no such thing. Among many other shortcomings, it creates a loophole for states to re-impose draconian rates for those with pre-existing conditions and to skip the current requirement that insurers cover a list of essential benefits.

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Lots of critics are saying the ideas in the plan fall way short of Cassidy's initial posturing, but one carries particular weight. That would be Kimmel himself, who this week tweeted out a link to a Washington Post column making the case that Cassidy's plan "flunks his own Jimmy Kimmel test."

And really, he would know. 

Follow Stephanie Grace on Twitter, @stephgracela.