“Free Democrat ad”: Right-wing media assail Jimmy Kimmel for criticizing Bill Cassidy’s lies about Obamacare repeal 

Right-wing media figures attacked Jimmy Kimmel, host of ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel Live!, after Kimmel sharply criticized Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-LA) as having  “lied right to my face” about health care in May. Kimmel pointed out that the Affordable Care Act repeal package Cassidy is co-sponsoring does not protect all children with pre-existing conditions, even though Cassidy told Kimmel he would support only those bills that passed that test. 

Jimmy Kimmel calls out Sen. Cassidy for lying about health care bills: “This guy, Bill Cassidy, just lied right to my face.”

CNN: Kimmel “didn’t pull any punches” against Sen. Bill Cassidy over Graham-Cassidy Obamacare repeal bill. On September 19, Jimmy Kimmel, host of ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel Live!, opened his show by explaining that Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-LA)  “wasn’t very honest” when he appeared on Kimmel’s show in May to discuss health care. According to CNNMoney, Kimmel explained that Cassidy had promised to “only support a healthcare bill that made sure” children with pre-existing conditions were covered “no matter how much money his parents make,” but that the health care bill Cassidy has proposed, the Graham-Cassidy bill, would not meet that bar. Kimmel concluded,“This guy, Bill Cassidy, just lied right to my face.” From the September 20 CNNMoney report: 

Jimmy Kimmel didn't pull any punches when it came to the Senate's new health care bill and U.S. Sen. Bill Cassidy, saying that Cassidy lied “right to my face.”

“A few months ago after my son had open heart surgery, which was something I spoke about on the air, a politician, a senator named Bill Cassidy from Louisiana was on my show and he wasn't very honest,” Kimmel said opening Tuesday night's show.

Kimmel then explained how Cassidy came up with what the senator called the “Jimmy Kimmel Test,” which according to the host was a test that said that “No family should be denied medical care, emergency or otherwise because they can't afford it.”

“He agreed to that,” Kimmel said. “He said he would only support a healthcare bill that made sure a child like mine would get the health coverage he needs, no matter how much money his parents make.”


In Tuesday's show, Kimmel explained that a new bill proposed last week by Cassidy and U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham “actually does pass the Jimmy Kimmel Test” in that with this bill “your child with a pre-existing condition will get the care he needs if, and only if, his father is Jimmy Kimmel.”

“Otherwise, you might be screwed,” he said.

Kimmel then showed a clip of himself asking Cassidy in May if he believed that every American, regardless of income should get regular checkups and maternity care in the same way that people who have health insurance receive the care. Cassidy responded “yep” in the clip.

"'Yep' is Washington for 'Nope,'" Kimmel said. [CNNMedia, 9/20/17]

Right-wing media mocked Kimmel for his monologue and derided the “free Democrat ad” 

Media Research Center attacked Kimmel’s “FREE DEMOCRAT AD.”

MRC Vice President Dan Gainor: “Yes, @jimmykimmel is concerned about kids, except ones R. Kelly hangs out with.”

Newsbusters’ Tim Graham: “Maybe Jimmy Kimmel should just put his late-night show on MSNBC if it's going to be Leaning Forward so much.”

Daily Caller editor Peter Hasson: “Being a comedian now means actually being a lobbyist.”

Mediaite’s John Ziegler: “This is exactly how our Founders envisioned major legislation being shaped... by rich comedians dictating what the poor should get for free.”

Ben Shapiro: Kimmel’s son “Billy’s critique would be more articulate.”

The Federalist: “Why does Jimmy Kimmel want Americans to suffer?” In The Federalist, senior editor David Harsanyi scolded Kimmel for “scaremongering his audience with well-worn Democratic Party talking points regarding health-care insurance policy.” Harsanyi said Kimmel's “simplistic emotional appeal” was “completely untrue,” “highly misleading,” and “disconnected from the real world,” and complained that he had not offered the same platform to people who found Obamacare too expensive. 

Last night, the comedian was back to explain to his audience why the new Graham-Cassidy “repeal” bill was bad news. There were only two things wrong with his monologue: The first was that almost everything he said was either completely untrue or highly misleading. The second was that his simplistic emotional appeal is completely disconnected from the real world.


Anyway, so went a monologue that could have been written by any liberal activist. Which is to say it is zero-sum emotionalism. Anyone can play that game. Fact is that Kimmel is a fan of the status quo, and he wants you to call Cassidy to complain about it. It’s a shame that Kimmel didn’t provide a number to call for the tens of millions of Americans who have seen their premiums and out-of-pocket costs skyrocket under Obamacare’s strictures. Is there no telephone number for those who are sick of being in exchanges that coerce them to buy plans they don’t need sold to them by companies they don’t like in fabricated non-competitive markets that have dwindling choices?

Kimmel doesn’t believe Americans deserve the chance to reduce the cost of health care with market-based reforms on the state level, or in giving states any flexibility in catering their plans to their citizens. Kimmel believes California and New York should spend away and smaller states should suffer. Kimmel doesn’t believe that individuals and families should be allowed to contribute to health saving accounts or use them to help pay ever-growing insurance premiums.

Perhaps one day Kimmel can tell us what health-care insurance policy he envisions that has the government cutting checks for the entire price of every medical procedure on demand. Right now, however, no such policy can exist, even if we raise taxes on millionaires, as Kimmel suggests. [The Federalist, 9/20/17]

Michelle Malkin in National Review: “The Tinseltown celebrity turned his personal plight into a political weapon, which his liberal friends were all too happy to wield.” Conservative columnist Michelle Malkin wrote in National Review that “Kimmel didn’t use his high-profile platform to educate the public about coping with rare diseases,” but instead used his show to turn “his personal plight into a political weapon.” Malkin complained about “lectures from Huffington Post and Hollywood elites about having a heart” and insisted that “Kimmel doesn’t need more maudlin Twitter suck-uppery. He needs a healthy fact-check,” before going on to vaguely, and falsely, imply that people with pre-existing conditions are not threatened by Graham-Cassidy.

But Kimmel didn’t use his high-profile platform to educate the public about coping with rare diseases. Or to champion the nation’s best and brightest pediatric specialists and medical innovators. The Tinseltown celebrity turned his personal plight into a political weapon, which his liberal friends were all too happy to wield.


I don’t need lectures from Huffington Post and Hollywood elites about having a heart. Neither do the rest of America’s parents, whatever their political affiliations, who know what it’s like to stay up night after endless night with suffering children, wondering whether they would ever be able to breathe normally again or see the light of the next day.

Kimmel doesn’t need more maudlin Twitter suck-uppery. He needs a healthy fact-check.


The term “pre-existing condition” is used to describe uninsured chronically ill people who apply for insurance coverage, not for a child in need of immediate care. Moreover, in the U.S., virtually all hospitals are legally obligated to provide emergency treatment to every patient who urgently requires emergency medical care regardless of the patient’s insurance status. This would include a newborn with an urgent heart condition. This requirement does not apply only to patients who enter an emergency room. It applies to all patients who set foot on a hospital’s property. [National Review, 9/20/17]