Jimmy Kimmel Fires Back at Health Care Critics: I Won’t ‘Be Quiet’ About Graham-Cassidy

‘I’m not pretending to be an expert,’ the late-night host said. ‘I’m asking why people like you aren’t listening to actual experts like the American Medical Association.’

Senator Bill Cassidy must really be starting to rue the day he came up with the idea of the “Jimmy Kimmel test.”

For the third consecutive night on Thursday, Jimmy Kimmel railed against Cassidy and his attempt, along with his fellow Republican Lindsey Graham, to push through legislation that would strip away many of the crucial protections guaranteed by the Affordable Care Act.

Kimmel seemed just as surprised as the rest of the country that he has found himself “in the middle of a battle over American health care” following his baby son Billy’s open heart surgery earlier in the year. Now, even President Donald Trump has gotten involved, defending Cassidy via Twitter—and sharing some lies of his own—on Wednesday night.

“For Donald Trump, this isn’t about the Graham-Cassidy bill,” Kimmel explained. “It’s about getting rid of Obamacare, which he hates, primarily because Obama’s name is on it. He like to have his name on things: buildings, vodka, you name it.” He said Trump would sign “copies of the Qu’ran at the Barnes and Noble in Fallujah” if it meant repealing Obamacare.

“I guarantee he doesn’t know anything about this Graham-Cassidy bill,” Kimmel added. “He doesn’t know the difference between Medicare and Medicaid. He barely knows the difference between Melania and Ivanka!”

And to those, like Fox News’ Brian Kilmeade, who say Kimmel should give Cassidy the benefit of the doubt, the host said, “I do give him the benefit of the doubt. I doubt all the benefits he claims are part of the new health care bill.”

Another argument against Kimmel this week is that since Cassidy is a medical doctor and he’s not, his opinion is not as valuable when it comes to health care. To that, Kimmel pointed to the dozens of major medical organizations that have come out against the bill. “We haven’t seen this many people come forward to speak out against a bill since Cosby,” he joked.  

Kimmel also had some harsh words for Vice President Mike Pence, who responded to him on Fox & Friends Thursday morning by first misquoting Thomas Jefferson and then saying, “I mean the question that people ought to ask is, who do you think will be more responsible to the health care needs in your community? Your governor, your state legislature, or a congressman and a president in a far-off nation’s capital?”

“Is neither an option? Because I would pick that,” Kimmel shot back. “I’m pretty sure, by the way, that he just told us we can’t trust the president.”

“A lot of people have been saying that I’m not qualified to talk about this,” Kimmel added. “And that’s true. I’m not qualified to talk about this. But I think those people forget, Bill Cassidy named this test after me. Am I supposed to just be quiet about that?”

But the critic that may have gotten under his skin the most was Republican Senator John Kennedy, who compared him to Charlie Sheen. “Listen, lady,” Kimmel replied. “I don’t know how many times I have to say it. I’m not pretending to be an expert. I’m asking why people like you aren’t listening to actual experts like the American Medical Association.”

“And by the way,” he continued, “the fact that Charlie Sheen is alive means he probably know more about health care than any of us do.”

Get The Beast In Your Inbox!

Daily Digest

Start and finish your day with the top stories from The Daily Beast.

Cheat Sheet

A speedy, smart summary of all the news you need to know (and nothing you don't).

By clicking “Subscribe,” you agree to have read the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy
Thank You!
You are now subscribed to the Daily Digest and Cheat Sheet. We will not share your email with anyone for any reason.

“I feel like it’s my duty to remind these people who are so concerned about my qualifications, the guy who you voted for for president, his job qualification was this,” Kimmel said, before playing a clip from The Celebrity Apprentice.  

Once again, Kimmel put the number for people to call their senators on the screen. “We have until September 30th to try to dodge this bullet,” he said. And something tells us, he’s not going to let up on the issue until then.