GOP Senator: Our Obamacare Repeal Bill Must ‘Pass The Jimmy Kimmel Test’

UNITED STATES - FEBRUARY 01: Sen. Bill Cassidy, R-La., listens to David Shulkin, nominee for Veterans Affairs secretary, testify during his Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee confirmation hearing in Dirksen Building, February 1, 2017. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)
Tom Williams/CQPHO

Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-LA) on Friday morning said that the Senate’s bill to repeal and replace Obamacare must “pass the Jimmy Kimmel test” and ensure that a sick child gets all the care he or she needs.

During an interview on CNN, host John Berman asked Cassidy if he would support a bill that would allow insurance companies to cap payments to customers.

“As you present that, I ask does it pass the Jimmy Kimmel test?” Cassidy replied. “Would the child born with a congenital heart disease be able to get everything she or he would need in that first year of life? I want it to pass the Jimmy Kimmel test. So the simple answer, I want to make sure folks get the care they need.”

Cassidy was referencing ABC late night host Jimmy Kimmel’s Monday night appeal for affordable health care for all Americans. He got emotional as he shared that his newborn son had a heart condition that required surgery, and noted that without protections, his son could struggle to get health insurance down the line.

“You know, before 2014, if you were born with congenital heart disease like my son was, there was a good chance you would never be able to get health insurance because you had a pre-existing condition; you were born with a pre-existing condition,” Kimmel said.

During his interview on CNN, Cassidy emphasized that the Senate would work on its own repeal bill separate from the legislation passed by the House GOP and touted the plan he’d already developed with Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME).

“We take care of people with pre-existing conditions. We do it by expanding the risk pool so that those who are sicker, if you will, are in a pool of those who are younger and healthier. It works,” he said. “We have a plan on how to address that. I personally will be working to implement that plan.”


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