Jimmy Kimmel had Louisiana Senator Bill Cassidy on his late-night program last May to talk about health care. Senator Cassidy co-authored and co-sponsors the latest Republican bill to repeal the Affordable Care Act. Kimmel looked over the details of the bill (you can too, here, in this nifty NPR chart comparing Cassidy-Graham to the status quo and the failed House and Senate ACA repeal bills) and says it fails to live up to what Kimmel and Cassidy discussed in May:
Kimmel laid out four points that Cassidy had said he wanted in a health care bill:
1. Coverage for all
2. No discrimination based on pre-existing conditions
3. Lower premiums for middle-class families
4. No lifetime caps
“I’m sorry he does not understand,” Cassidy said Wednesday morning on CNN about Kimmel, adding that under the new bill, “more people will have coverage.”
That’s almost certainly not true, given the Medicaid expansion rollback that would take place under the bill. Medicaid expansion accounted for the largest drop in the uninsured under the ACA.
…”Not only did he fail the ‘Jimmy Kimmel test,’ ” Kimmel said, “it failed the ‘Bill Cassidy test'” [Domenico Montanaro, “WATCH: Jimmy Kimmel Blasts GOP Health Bill, Says It Fails The “Jimmy Kimmel Test’,” NPR.org, 2017.09.20].
Senator Cassidy says Kimmel “does not understand” the new ACA repeal bill, but the Washington Post says Kimmel appears to understand key points of the bill better than its authors do, such as the inevitable increase in the uninsured, the loss of protections for pre=existing conditions, the loss of the guarantee against lifetime caps on health insurance payouts, and the Republican rush to pass this bill before we all figure out that it’s as bad as if not worse than the previous House and Senate ACA repealers.
CBO is promising a preliminary assessment of Cassidy-Graham by early next week. CBO says they’ll have some deficit estimates and “qualitative information” about effects but will need “several weeks” more to give supportable numbers deficits, number of people insured, and premiums.