GOP SENATOR: Obamacare repeal must 'pass the Jimmy Kimmel test'

Jimmy kimmelABCJimmy Kimmel.

Sen. Bill Cassidy on Friday coined a new term for GOP attempts to reform the US healthcare system, saying any GOP healthcare bill must pass the “Jimmy Kimmel test.”

Kimmel, a late night host, delivered a tearful monologue Monday night about his newborn son’s open-heart surgery and pleaded with lawmakers to keep in place certain protections of the Affordable Care Act. One of those protections is the removal of lifetime limits, which prior to the ACA would cap the amount of benefits an insurance company would pay out in a person’s lifetime.

As Kimmel said, children born with serious health problems, like his son, often hit those limits at a very young age.

Cassidy said in a Friday interview on CNN that he wanted to make sure the Senate healthcare bill kept that protection in place.

“I ask does it pass the Jimmy Kimmel test? Will a child born with a congenital heart disease be able to get everything she or he would need in that first year of life? I want it to pass the Jimmy Kimmel test,” Cassidy said.

“So simple answer, I want to make sure — and the Cassidy-Collins bill accomplishes this — that if a child is born and has tetralogy of fallot … that they would receive all the services even if they go over a certain amount,” he said.

“The Senate will write its own bill, that’s clear. Mitch McConnell made that clear and others in the leadership made that clear,” Cassidy said of the Senate majority leader.

Cassidy has written his own version of a repeal and replace bill with fellow Republican Sen. Susan Collins of Maine. It modifies the Affordable Care Act and establishes larger risk pools to try and bring premiums down for people with preexisting conditions.

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