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Watch Jimmy Kimmel Slam Obamacare-Repeal Senator: He 'Lied Right to My Face'

By Published on .

Late-night host Jimmy Kimmel emerged as one of the most passionate and reasonable voices on healthcare reform in May in the wake of his son's birth and an attendant health crisis that saw the newborn undergoing emergency open-heart surgery to repair a life-threatening heart defect. The YouTube clip of his emotional monologue ran up more than 11 million views and became a talking point in D.C. among those involved in the healthcare debate. In fact, one politician, Sen. Bill Cassidy of Louisiana, coined the phrase "the Jimmy Kimmel test" in an interview with Kimmel to define what he personally would demand of healthcare-reform legislation.

On last night's "Jimmy Kimmel Live," Kimmel reminded viewers of the definition of that test: "No family should be denied medical care, emergency or otherwise, because they can't afford it." He then systematically took apart the new Obamacare-repeal bill that Senators Cassidy and Lindsey Graham have come up with, pointing out that it not only fails the Jimmy Kimmel test, but doesn't even meet other basics—including outlawing discrimination against people with preexisting conditions and prohibiting lifetime caps on insurance benefits—that Cassidy previously said he would require of any healthcare-reform bill he'd be willing to support. "This guy, Bill Cassidy, just lied right to my face," Kimmel said.

He also slammed the lack of open hearings and general secrecy surrounding "this scam of a bill" and the politicians who are trying to rush it to passage. "Healthcare is complicated. It's boring. I don't want to talk about it. The details are confusing—and that's what these guys are relying on. They're counting on you to be so overwhelmed with all the information, you just trust them to take care of you. But they're not taking care of you, they're taking care of the people who give them money, like insurance companies. And we're all just looking at our Instagram accounts, liking things, while they're voting on whether people can afford to keep their children alive or not."

Simon Dumenco, aka Media Guy, is an Ad Age editor-at-large. You can follow him on Twitter @simondumenco.

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