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Screengrab from "Jimmy Kimmel Live" shows the late night host Tuesday as he criticizes Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-La.) for having lied about his promises to defend healthcare covereage.

Trashing Trumpcare, Kimmel Says GOP Cruelty Forcing Him to "Politicize" Son's Illness

Republicans are "not taking care of you. They're taking care of the people who give them money, like insurance companies."

Andrea Germanos, staff writer

Late night television host Jimmy Kimmel lampooned Sen. Bill Cassidy—co-sponsor of the Republicans' last-ditch Trumpcare plan, saying Tuesday that the Louisiana Republican "just lied right to my face" about promises he made to support affordable healthcare coverage.

In May, Kimmel delivered an emotional defense of the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, in which he revealed his infant son's heart condition and declared that "no parent should ever have to decide if they can afford to save their child's life." Soon after, Cassidy made media appearances saying he'd only get behind a plan that passes "the Jimmy Kimmel Test." He then also appeared on Kimmel's show and laid out demands for coverage that are, in fact, not part of the plan he's put his name on.

As far as bringing his personal story into the headlines, Kimmel charged Tuesday, "I am politicizing my son's health problems because I have to." Referring to Cassidy, Kimmel said that "it seemed like he was being honest" when he spoke on the show.

Cassidy "got a lot of credit and attention for coming off like a rare, reasonable voice in the Republican Party when it came to healthcare for coming up with something he called—I didn't name it this, he named it this—the Jimmy Kimmel test, which was, in a nutshell: No family should be denied medical care, emergency of otherwise, because they can't afford it."

"He agreed to that. He said would only support a healthcare bill that made sure a child like mine would get the coverage he needs no matter how much money his parents make."

"Not only did Bill Cassidy fail the Jimmy Kimmel test, but he failed the Bill Cassidy test, too," Kimmel said, saying that the plan he put forth with Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.)  does not do what the senator promised in terms of coverage for all; no discrimination based on pre-existing conditions; lower premiums for middle-class families; and no lifetime caps.

Watch the full monologue below:

With Cassidy's plan, "your child with a preexisting condition will get the care he needs—if, and only if, his father is Jimmy Kimmel. Otherwise, you might be screwed," Kimmel said.

He argued that the Republicans are "not taking care of you. They're taking care of the people who give them money, like insurance companies."

As far as bringing his personal story into the headlines, Kimmel charged, "I am politicizing my son's health problems because I have to."

"There's a new Jimmy Kimmel test for you," the host said, addressing the senator personally. "It's called the lie detector test. You're welcome to stop by the studio and take it anytime."

He encouraged viewers to take action saying, "If this bill isn't good enough for you, call your congressperson."

He made the point on his Twitter account as well, posting the monologue and writing: "If you too are disappointed in Sen @BillCassidy #GrahamCassidy let them know it - call (202) 224-3121."

Cassidy responded to the monologue, telling CNN's "New Day," "I am sorry he does not understand."

According to the Washington Post, however, "It turns out Kimmel understands the bill's impact better than its authors do."

Kimmel's remarks drew praise from Sen. Bernie Sanders, who recently introduced the Medicare for All Act of 2017. Sanders wrote on Twitter Wednesday: "Thank you @jimmykimmel for speaking out against Republicans' attempt to take health care from 30 million Americans."


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