Jimmy Kimmel will not be shunned into silence.
For three days, the Jimmy Kimmel Live! host has been fighting the latest GOP-led effort to repeal and replace Obamacare. During Thursday's monologue, he once criticized President Donald Trump and Louisiana Senator Bill Cassidy, who co-authored the Graham-Cassidy bill.
"If you've been watching the show over the past few days, I have found myself in the middle of a battle over American healthcare. After my son Billy had open-heart surgery, Senator Bill Cassidy from Louisiana made some promises and assurances he did not keep," Kimmel told viewers. "The reason I had him on my show in the first place was because he started telling people that any plan he supports would have to pass what he called 'The Jimmy Kimmel Test.'"
Cassidy teamed up with Senator Lindsey Graham to write a bill. "It doesn't protect people from having their rates jacked up for pre-existing conditions," he said. "It doesn't prevent insurance companies from putting lifetime caps on how much they spend on a person's medical issues, and it cuts a huge amount of money—possibly even hundreds on billions of dollar—in funding."
Kimmel's first two monologues went viral, prompting Trump to tweet his support for the proposed legislation, which needs to get 50 Republican votes by Sept. 30, or their ability to pass a repeal with a simple-majority vote expires. "For Donald Trump, this isn't about the Graham-Cassidy bill; it's about Obamacare, which he hates, because [Barack Obama]'s name is on it. He likes to have his name on things: buildings, vodka, you name it. At this point he would sign anything if it meant getting rid of Obamacare. He'd sign copies of the Quran at the Barnes & Noble in Fallujah if it meant he could get rid of Obamacare!" he joked, adding, "I guarantee he doesn't know anything about this Graham-Cassidy bill. He doesn't know the difference between Medicare and Medicaid; he barely knows the difference between Melania and Ivanka."
Kimmel's wife, head writer Molly McNearney, has also been tweeting about their family's fight:
Cassidy has said Kimmel "does not understand" the proposed bill. "Some people tell me I should give him the benefit of the doubt," the late-night host said. "You know what? I do give him the benefit of the doubt: I doubt the benefits he claims are part of the new healthcare bill."
"A lot of people have been saying I'm not qualified to talk about this. And that is true! I'm not qualified to talk about this. But I think those people forget Bill Cassidy named his test after me!"
Kimmel also acknowledged that Cassidy has helped communities in the past.
"He's done good things; I just want him to keep doing good things," Kimmel said. "This plan is not a good thing. His supporters say, 'Well he's a doctor and you're not. What do you know?' To them I say, all of these very reputable associations—American Diabetes Association, American Medical Association, American Cancer Society, American Heart Association, the list goes on and on—all of these groups populated by doctors say this healthcare bill is bad. They are against it. We haven't seen this many people come forward to speak out against a bill since [Bill Cosby]."
In conclusion, Kimmel said it's "more important than ever" for people to call their senators at 202-224-3121 and demand they "not turn their backs on people with pre-existing conditions. Call him or her, encourage your friends and family to call, too—and let me know how it goes."
Jimmy Kimmel Live! airs weeknights at 11:35 on ABC.