Comedian Jimmy Kimmel lit into U.S. Sen. Bill Cassidy of Louisiana on Tuesday night in an opening monologue on his late-night program that savaged the healthcare overhaul plan Cassidy is pushing in Congress.
Kimmel claimed Cassidy failed the so-called “Jimmy Kimmel Test,” a reference to an emotional monologue Kimmel delivered earlier this year about protections in the Affordable Care Act the late-night host said helped save his young son, who suffers from a heart defect.
"This guy, Bill Cassidy, just lied to my face," Kimmel said at one point during his monologue. He later demanded Cassidy stop using his name.
"Here's the new Jimmy Kimmel test for you -- it's called a lie detector test. You're welcome to stop by the studio and take it anytime," Kimmel said.
Cassidy, R-Baton Rouge, appeared on Kimmel’s program this past spring to assure Kimmel that any plan he backed would ensure a child like Kimmel’s received affordable coverage without lifetime caps on healthcare costs.
Cassidy, a physician by training, is pushing a proposal co-authored with South Carolina’s Sen. Lindsey Graham to repeal much of the Affordable Care Act — commonly known as Obamacare — and repackage much of the law’s federal funding into flexible block grants for states. The proposal would also phase in spending caps for the broader Medicaid program.
The senator defended the bill on Tuesday, telling reporters that its language does indeed meet the conditions he laid out as part of the so-called test.
Opponents of the bill have focused on provisions that allow states to seek waivers to certain Affordable Care Act regulations laying out minimum requirements for policies, including that insurers charge people similar rates regardless of health history.
Cassidy, however, notes that his bill requires any state seeking such a waiver lay out how they’ll “maintain access to adequate and affordable health insurance coverage for individuals with pre-existing conditions.”
On Wednesday morning, Cassidy appeared on MSNBC's Morning Joe. The Republican senator lamented that people tend to resist change, even if it is "from worse to better."
He vowed that his bill "will bring power to that patient, power to that state for them to have control over their health care future."
Cassidy wrote the bill together with Senator Lindsey Graham, a South Carolina Republican.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Senators spend a lot of time in airports, and Bill Cassidy was obviously trying to be effici…