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Sen. Bill Cassidy Swipes Back at Jimmy Kimmel on Health Care: ‘He Does Not Understand’ (Video)

Louisiana Republican insists his bill to repeal Obamacare will give more people coverage

Sen. Bill Cassidy responded to late night host Jimmy Kimmel, who on Tuesday night’s show slammed the Louisiana Republican for lying “right to my face” about his plans to improve health care for Americans with pre-existing conditions

In an appearance on CNN’s “New Day” Wednesday morning, Cassidy told host Chris Cuomo, “I’m sorry he does not understand. Under Graham-Cassidy-Heller-Johnson more people will have coverage, and we protect those with pre-existing conditions.”

“States like Maine, Virginia, Florida, Missouri — there’ll be billions more dollars to provide health insurance coverage to those in those states who have been passed by by Obamacare, and we protect those with pre-existing conditions,” Cassidy said, citing states that voluntarily refused the Medicare expansion allowed under the Affordable Care Act that has lowered premiums in other states.

During Tuesday night’s broadcast of “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” the host said that Cassidy misled him and others about his bill, which does not ensure affordable coverage for those with pre-existing conditions, thanks to a loophole that leaves the protections up to individual states. The same goes for lifetime coverage caps, Kimmel said.

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

The host then launched into an explanation of Cassidy’s bill, which was introduced last week along with Senator Lindsay Graham, only passes the so-called “Jimmy Kimmel test” under very limited circumstances: “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.”

“Most of the Congresspeople who vote on this bill probably won’t even read it. And they want us to do the same thing,” Kimmel said. “They want us to treat it like an iTunes service agreement. And this guy, Bill Cassidy, just lied right to my face.”

Kimmel entered into the health care debate earlier this year when his son Billy had to have open heart surgery, and he plead on his show to lawmakers to pass a healthcare bill that would allow anyone to get the coverage they need even their family couldn’t afford it.

Cassidy was a guest on his show and coined “the Jimmy Kimmel test,” which is supposed to be a test that said “no family should be denied medical care, emergency or otherwise because they can’t afford it.”