Sen. Bill Cassidy’s response to being called out by Jimmy Kimmel was, as Kimmel put it in his Wednesday night monologue (video below), to “pull the all comedians are dummies card” by smarming “I am sorry he does not understand.” Too bad for Cassidy Kimmel really does know what he’s talking about—and has the benefit of being able to tell the truth.
But experts say that Cassidy and Graham’s bill can’t guarantee those protections and that Kimmel’s assessment was basically accurate because of the flexibility the bill gives states to set up their own health care systems. For example, health insurers could hike premiums for patients with pre-existing conditions if their states obtain waivers from Obamacare regulations — as Kimmel said. […]
“Kimmel did not overstate the impact,” [Georgetown University’s Center for Children and Families director Joan] Alker said. “If Graham-Cassidy becomes law, there is no guarantee a child born with a congenital heart defect will get the coverage they need. It would depend on where they live, but even states with good intentions would struggle to protect children with the massive cuts to Medicaid included in this bill.”
Cassidy insisted that what Kimmel “does not understand” is that Graham-Cassidy would mean “more people will have coverage,” a claim the Washington Post fact checker gave three Pinocchios because “the consensus is that his funding formula makes his claim all but impossible to achieve.”
Cassidy’s response guaranteed that Kimmel would come back at him—along with Sen. Lindsey Graham, Fox & Friends’ Brian Kilmeade, and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie—but Kimmel also delivered some bad news, in the form of a report that call volume had not gone up in Sen. Susan Collins’ office after Kimmel urged viewers to call their senators. That’s a problem that needs fixing.
Quiet phone lines mean Republicans will think they can get away with this. LIGHT THEM UP. Call your senators at (202) 224-3121 and urge them to vote “NO” on any repeal bill. (After you call, please tell us how it went.)