Opinion: Jimmy Kimmel, health insurance guru? Yup.

Jimmy Kimmel is a late-night TV host who dropped out of college to take a radio gig. That’s not a career move that I would recommend, but in Kimmel’s case, it has worked out OK.  Kimmel also happens to have an infant son, Billy, who was born with a serious life-threatening heart defect.

Bill Cassidy is a U.S. senator who sits on the Senate Committee for Health, Education, Labor and Pensions, which deals extensively with health-care policy. He is also a physician, and the co-sponsor and main author of the Graham-Cassidy bill that Republicans are rallying behind as their last real chance to repeal Obamacare.

Given all that, it is remarkable that Kimmel, the college dropout and late-night TV host, knows a lot more about Cassidy’s bill and what it would do than does Cassidy himself. At the very least, Kimmel is a whole lot more honest about it.

For example, Kimmel claims that the bill will strip insurance coverage from tens of millions of Americans, potentially leaving families without access to life-saving care. Cassidy claims that if his bill becomes law, the number of Americans with health insurance would actually increase.

However, there is no universe in which Cassidy’s statement could be true, no form or branch of mathematics in which it is even plausible, no mechanism by which it might become true. You cannot repeal Medicaid expansion, end subsidies for individual coverage and also slash spending on traditional Medicaid, and by doing so somehow expand the number of people who have coverage. It is an insult to the intelligence of a 6-year-old to even suggest such a thing.

In Cassidy’s home state of Louisiana, for example, the governor has warned that 430,000 people would lose coverage by the repeal of Medicaid expansion alone.

Thanks to Medicaid expansion, “we’re saving lives, money and investing in our people to ensure they are able to receive quality health care,” Gov. John Bel Edwards said. “Importantly, Louisiana’s uninsured rate has dropped to nearly 10 percent. Undoing this progress would negatively impact our citizens and our economy.”

Cassidy also claims that his bill maintains Obamacare protections for the many millions of Americans who have pre-existing conditions. Kimmel bluntly accuses Cassidy of lying to his face about that provision.

Who’s right?

Under Cassidy’s bill, states can get a waiver to the current ban against charging more to those with pre-existing conditions. That much is crystal clear. However, Cassidy points to another phrase in the bill that says such waivers can be granted only if people with pre-existing conditions are given “access” to “adequate” and “affordable” insurance.

What do those terms mean? The legislation doesn’t say, and without clear definitions the provision is so vague as to be legally unenforceable. Those words would mean whatever people like Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price say they mean, and that’s a terrible thing to bet your child’s life upon.

Health insurers — the people whose business it is to know such things — agree with Kimmel.

“The bill contains provisions that would allow states to waive key consumer protections, as well as undermine safeguards for those with pre-existing medical conditions,” says Blue Cross/Blue Shield in announcing its opposition to the bill.

Reforms “must guarantee access to coverage for ALL Americans, including those with pre-existing conditions. No one should be denied or priced out of affordable coverage because of their health status,” says America’s Health Insurance Plans, the insurance industry lobbying group.  According to AHIP, the Graham-Cassidy bill fails that basic test.

This is, in short, a terrible bill. It is the work product of a party that has lost any capacity or even interest in making public policy, a party that had seven full years to produce a workable alternative to Obamacare and yet squandered every last minute of it. And the best gauge of this bill’s deficiency is the scale, scope and audacity of the lies being told to defend it.

Reader Comments 0

2118 comments
Peachs
Peachs

Fake news has taken the place of religion in the Republican Party. Your get out of jail card.

Peachs
Peachs

Trump at the UN had to be a big shot. Imperialism worked because we did it with class. It doesn't work when you invite thugs to the party, and equal yourself to other thugs. Just ask Hitler, who had very little charm or class either.

Alisa Donalson Rayford
Alisa Donalson Rayford

He is credible. He has a personal story that can't be discounted. Yes he has a platform. Anyone, and I do mean ANYONE, Dem or GOP would use that same pulpit. He uses his celebrity just an any other.

Peachs
Peachs

He is is unvetted, shady, stupid, and highly unqualified...

Diana McGowan Pate
Diana McGowan Pate

He is NOT even an authority on separating garbage! Any one who values his opinion deserves what ever they get. WORKING folks who have a JOB do NOT watch this trash!

Brandon Smith
Brandon Smith

you left dummies are completely braindead now

FIGMO2
FIGMO2

Well this is and was awkward.

‘James Comey, you’re not our homie’: Protesters disrupt former FBI director’s speech at Howard University 

http://tinyurl.com/y6wotb36

hmmmmm...

I can side with the protesters but substitute "puzz" for "homie".

Kamchak
Kamchak

Proud Republican rails against universal health care. Plot twist: now he needs it.

A Twitter personality who goes by the name "Sassy Gay Republican" learned the hard way why health insurance is important. @SassyGayRepub has amassed a following of over 29,000 sticking it to "libs" and MAGAing it up, which includes being vehemently anti-Obamacare because it has "Obama" in it.

But like Tomi Lahren before him, Sassy Gay Republican learned that health insurance independent from the free market rat race just might be good.

Karma.

PaulinNH
PaulinNH

@Kamchak  You have to read some of the tweets about the guy - they are hilarious.

Kamchak
Kamchak

@PaulinNH

Yeah, I saw them.

In one, he was reduced to begging for money.   

Kamchak
Kamchak

@PaulinNH

I have nothing against gofundme per se especially for those in need, but this guy was thumbing his nose at the fates and they dropped a load on his punk @$$  

rimsky
rimsky

 A Republican congressman says the U.S. government can’t keep paying to repair homes that are repeatedly damaged by floods.

On Thursday’s broadcast of CNBC’s “Squawk Box,” Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas) claimed that the “federal government is encouraging and subsidizing people to live in harm’s way.”

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/jeb-hensarling-flood-victims-god-telling-you_us_59c4b2a2e4b0cdc773303765?ncid=inblnkushpmg00000009

Ok Congress critter. Tell Trump to pull out all the help from your state.  While at it pull out of FL, MS, LA.  Great we can save a ton of tax payer's money.

PaulinNH
PaulinNH

@rimsky  I heard an interview on Maine PR the other day where a woman in the Houston area has had her house flooded and essentially destroyed 3 times in the last 5 years.  She freely admits that the Federal Flood Insurance is covering everything. 

To be fair to the woman, she wants the Feds to just buy her out and convert the property to grassland but it takes a long time and a whole bunch of paperwork to make that happen.  Meanwhile, she'll rebuild with Uncle Sam paying for it and waiting for the next flood to hit.

honested
honested

@PaulinNH @rimsky 

but, but, but, look at what a buyout would do to the 'property values' and to the scumbag real estate salesweasels in the neighborhood!!!


PaulinNH
PaulinNH

@honested @PaulinNH @rimsky  Them stand on their own 2 feet RWers love their federally-subsidized flood insurance.  Some of them have places at PCB.

OriginalProf
OriginalProf

@PaulinNH @rimsky  You could make the same argument about the California homeowners who keep building and re-building in the areas that have wild-fires every year...in large part, because the areas are over-built.

elgrunir
elgrunir

Looks like "Random Day" on the blog, so here's my ante:

Vegas ETA 11:27.

Kamchak
Kamchak

@Fan4500 

As a dog returneth to his vomit, so a fool returneth to his folly.

Fan4500
Fan4500

@Kamchak @Fan4500 Proverbs 26:4 - "Answer not a fool according to his folly, lest thou also be like unto him."

rimsky
rimsky

@Fan4500 @rimsky  I'm a conservative.

I'm a Republican.

I'm a patriot.

I'm all American!.

Yep you are a stupid, deplorable, clueless American.  Feel sorry for you.

LOLOLOL

honested
honested

@Fan4500 @honested @rimsky 

Could it be you have instilled artificial significance to those traits?

I know, you are so right that you can't be wrong......

"HaHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH!!

rimsky
rimsky

@Fan4500 @rimsky Like gazing into the distant stars.  Deplorability is in your genes.  it goes with you to the grave.

rimsky
rimsky

@FIGMO2 @rimsky @Fan4500 LOLOLOL.  Figgy you are intellectually challenged.  But keep humping like a little poodle.

You are not worth the trouble.  You are so insignificant......

FIGMO2
FIGMO2

@rimsky @FIGMO2 @Fan4500

Figgy you are intellectually challenged.

And yet, like the majority of Americans, I know what the SPLC is.

You are pitiful, rimsky.

AB-SO-LUTE-LY  PIT-I-FUL!!!


OriginalProf
OriginalProf

@Fan4500 What exactly is the point of including the black child, when all the rest are white girls?