Late-night host Jimmy Kimmel on Monday expressed cautious optimism about the apparent death of the Graham-Cassidy healthcare legislation.
With Sen. Susan Collins of Maine coming out against the the Graham-Cassidy bill on Monday, it appears that the measure is dead — ending Kimmel’s week-long run of impassioned attacks on the legislation.
Kimmel gave one more monologue on the subject Monday night, saying that after speaking out last week he met hundred of people at events over the weekend that thanked him and told him Obamacare saved their lives.
The late-night host pointed to polls showing that more American preferred the Affordable Care Act to the Graham-Cassidy proposal. He also highlighted Republican lawmakers’ message on Obamacare.
“They don’t care what you think, they want you to think what they think. That’s why they keep calling Obamacare a disaster, you hear that word a lot,” Kimmel said. “Obamacare definitely needs work, but think about it: did anyone have to convince you Hurricane Harvey was a disaster? No, because it was a disaster. If someone has to keep telling you something is a disaster, it probably isn’t.”
Kimmel also thanked Sen. John McCain for coming out against the bill on Friday.
“The truth is, John McCain probably saved the Republican Party by doing this,” Kimmel said. “Because if you think Graham-Cassidy is unpopular now, wait until people have to live with it — or not live with — then who gets blamed? The Republican Party.”
After defending himself against criticism from outlets like Fox News, Kimmel brought up Collins’ defection and the apparent death of Graham-Cassidy.
“Thank you Senator Collins, you know Maine needs affordable healthcare more than almost any state. You know the sewers up there are filled with child-eating clowns,” Kimmel said, referring to the hit horror movie “It.”
“The best news is now I can go back to talking about the Kardashians,” he said.
Kimmel originally threw himself into the midst of the debate in May after his newborn son Billy needed to have open heart surgery hours after his birth. The legislation being debated at the time would have undermined protections for people with preexisting conditions and allowed insurers to reinstitute lifetime limits on healthcare payments.
GOP Sen. Bill Cassidy of Louisiana told Kimmel that any Obamacare repeal and replace legislation had to preserve those protections, dubbing it the “Jimmy Kimmel test.”
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