Politics | September 22, 2017 9:40 am

Jimmy Kimmel Urges Viewers to Mobilize and Stop Obamacare Repeal

For third night in a row, TV host devoted his monologue to criticizing the GOP healthcare reform bill.

Jimmy Kimmel on Sept. 20. (ABC/YouTube)
Jimmy Kimmel on Sept. 20. (ABC/YouTube)

Jimmy Kimmel has set aside comedy and is on a mission. For the third night in a row, he swore off jokes in his monologue and instead discussed the Republican Party’s latest effort to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, also known as “Obamacare.” He urged his viewers to call their U.S. senators and request that they stop the pending legislation, Variety reports.

According to Kimmel, the bill, co-authored by Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-La), would weaken protections for pre-existing conditions, even for children. Earlier this week, Kimmel called Cassidy a “liar” because he came on the show earlier this year and vowed not to support legislation that does not guarantee affordable healthcare to families, with an emphasis on families with children who have pre-existing medical conditions. Cassidy called it the “Jimmy Kimmel test” and said that he would not support a bill that did not pass this test.

However, Kimmel argues, and many other healthcare experts agree, that the Graham-Cassidy legislation does not pass this test. Kimmel pointed out that the American Medical Association, the AARP and the American Cancer Society have all come out against the legislation.

Kimmel also attacked Donald Trump, saying that he doubted the president had even read the legislation. “He doesn’t know the difference between Medicare and Medicaid,” Kimmel said, referencing news reports where private discussions between the president and his aides showed the former’s confusion over which healthcare program did what.

Kimmel defended his opinions against critics who say that he is not a healthcare expert, like Sen. John Kennedy, who called Kimmel “just a comedian.”

“I am asking you: Why you aren’t listening to experts like the American Medical Association?” he responded, after showing a clip of Sen. Kennedy criticizing his healthcare views.

Kimmel has been talking about the need for affordable healthcare all year. His infant son went through emergency heart surgery when Republicans were considering a different version of Obamacare repeal-and-replace legislation. Back then, Kimmel publicly discussed his exact situation could have been financially or medically catastrophic for middle- and lower- income families who could not afford insurance like he can.