Jimmy Kimmel, Have You No Shame?

It has been said that you could get a declaration of war against Canada if you claimed it was for the children. While Jimmy Kimmel’s personal story of his child’s medical needs is compelling, his exploitation of that story to advance lies about the Graham-Cassidy ObamaCare replacement is shameful. Not only does he lie to a national audience about Graham-Cassidy’s impact on those with preexisting conditions, he stooped to calling one Louisiana senator a liar and the other an “inbred”.

Kimmel called the ObamaCare replacement bill’s  co-author, Louisiana GOP Sen. Bill Cassidy, a liar after Cassidy appeared on Kimmel’s late night show:

Earlier this year, Cassidy appeared on ABC’s “Jimmy Kimmel Live” after Kimmel made an emotional plea to ensure all Americans have access to health care after revealing his newborn son needed life-saving heart surgery three days after his birth…

“He said he wants coverage for all, no discrimination based on preexisting conditions, lower premiums for middle class families and no lifetime caps,” Kimmel told viewers on his show Tuesday night. “And guess what? The new bill does none of those things.”

“This guy, Bill Cassidy, lied right to my face,” Kimmel continued. “Not only did Bill Cassidy fail the Jimmy Kimmel test, he failed the Bill Cassidy test.”

Doubling down on his slanderous accusation, Kimmel, in another monologue, would call Louisiana’s other GOP senator an “inbred”:

Late-night host Jimmy Kimmel used his opening monologue Thursday to once again lambast supporters of the Graham-Cassidy health care bill -- and at one point called a Republican senator from Louisiana an "inbred."…

Kimmel said Thursday that ObamaCare opponents drag characters “out of the swamp.” Then he introduced a clip of U.S. Sen. John Neely Kennedy, R-La., appearing on Fox News Channel earlier in the day.

The clip shows Kennedy saying the biggest opponents of the new bill were Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., and Kimmel. The senator said he thought Kimmel was “a funny guy,” but would not be mistaken for a health care expert.

“I wouldn’t take advice from Charlie Sheen, either,” Kennedy said….

“But I understand the gist of what he’s saying,” Kimmel said of Kennedy's remarks. “I should not be the guy you go to for information about health care, and if these guys — like inbred John Kennedy — would tell the truth for a change, I wouldn’t have to.”

That’s entertainment? Nobody would be kicked off ObamaCare or be denied insurance. Rather, many have already opted to pay ObamaCare fines rather than ObamaCare premiums they can’t afford and one-size fits all mandates they don’t need. Young people refused ObamaCare coverage in droves because, being young and healthy, they had other things to do with their money. They might have opted for catastrophic coverage, but ObamaCare made this coverage illegal. David Harsanyi addresses Kimmel’s falsehood at RealClearPolitics.com:

Not a single person would be "kicked off" his or her insurance. Rather, the Congressional Budget Office review of the AHCA found that of the 24 million Americans who would no longer have health insurance after an Obamacare repeal, 14 million would choose not to buy insurance in 2018 in the absence of a penalty. And if Obamacare were not repealed, the CBO projects another 6 million people would voluntarily leave the Obamacare markets. Now, if you don't believe Americans should be afforded the choice to leave or not buy insurance, just say that. No one is being kicked off.

As Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker points out, returning coverage of preexisting conditions to the states does not cut off people with preexisting conditions, but rather returns to the days before ObamaCare when a majority of states had good and affordable preexisting condition coverage:

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker said Friday that Democrats opposition to the Republican health care plan is based on their distrust of local government…

“Governors and state lawmakers all across America spend a whole lot more time in the states and their districts than the folks in Washington who live in that bubble,” Mr. Walker said.

“The rest of us who live in reality are going to continue to provide for ways to provide for pre-existing conditions. Wisconsin is a good example. We had a high risk pool called HIRSP for years that was highly effective that Obamacare managed to get rid of,” he explained, referring to Wisconsin’s Health Insurance Risk-Sharing Pool.

HIRSP was the state’s health insurance market for those who did not have access to health insurance through an employer or another government program. It ended after Obamacare became law.

A lot of good state programs covering preexisting conditions and others in high risk pools were made illegal by ObamaCare. Did Jimmy Kimmel rail against that? Avik Roy, writing in Forbes, exposes Kimmel’s pre-existing condition rant as a lie:

…prior to Obamacare, the vast majority of Americans with health insurance were already in plans that were required to offer them coverage regardless of pre-existing conditions. Employer-based plans were required to offer coverage to everyone regardless of pre-existing conditions. So were Medicare, Medicaid, and other government programs like the VA. Employer- and government-based plans, prior to Obamacare, represented 90 percent of Americans with health insurance.

Maine, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Vermont, and Washington all required insurers to guarantee issuance of coverage to those with pre-existing conditions prior to Obamacare becoming law. In other words, if Obamacare’s regulations were repealed, individuals with pre-existing conditions in those states would be entirely unaffected.

An additional set of states has enacted guaranteed issue at the state level since 2010, in order to make their states' insurance markets comply with Obamacare. Many of these states are likely to keep those provisions even if the federal rules are repealed.

It would seem ObamaCare violated the first rule of medicine -- first, do no harm. ObamaCare did a great deal of harm, leaving people with premiums as high as their mortgage payments, doctors they couldn’t keep, plans they liked and could afford but couldn’t keep, and insurance with deductibles so high they couldn’t use them. All this is fine with Jimmy Kimmel, who insists that those who disagree with him are inbred liars.

HuffPost has reported that before ObamaCare some 35 states had plans that covered people with preexisting conditions that otherwise couldn’t get insurance:

Before Obamacare, 35 states ran high-risk pools for people who couldn’t get private insurance. These programs covered about 200,000 people, though they weren’t backed by billions in federal funding. Instead, states levied assessments on insurance companies and hospitals, according to the Congressional Research Service. The state pools tended to have high premiums, high deductibles and typically excluded coverage for health problems related to a potential enrollee’s pre-existing condition for six months.

These plans weren’t perfect, but they did exist, and didn’t make the mistake of treating the sick and the healthy equally in terms of risk, a fatal flaw of ObamaCare that redistributed medical costs. Is it any wonder that premiums spiked and insurance companies left the ObamaCare exchanges?

The other half of Graham-Cassidy, Republican Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, has also called Kimmel a liberal liar who swallows the liberal line on ObamaCare replacement:

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., defended Sen. Bill Cassidy, R-La., from Jimmy Kimmel's criticism on Wednesday after the late-night host accused Cassidy of lying about healthcare reform "right to my face"

"I bet you he never called Sen. Cassidy and said would you please set this straight? I bet he looked at some liberal talking point, bought it hook, line, and sinker, and went after Bill Cassidy without talking to him, and I think that's unfair," Graham said on Fox News.

Graham said his and Cassidy's shared bill "requires pre-existing illnesses to be covered in the block grant," the main point for Kimmel, who made a plea earlier this year to not deny anyone with a pre-existing condition health coverage after his newborn son was diagnosed with a heart condition.

All Americans have a preexisting condition that jeopardizes their health and their pocketbooks. It has denied them the doctors of their choice and coverage they had and liked. It’s called ObamaCare, a plague on the American health care system that limousine liberals like Jimmy Kimmel don’t have to worry about.

Daniel John Sobieski is a freelance writer whose pieces have appeared in Investor’s Business Daily, Human Events, Reason Magazine and the Chicago Sun-Times among other publications.