U.S. Sen. Bill Cassidy on Jimmy Kimmel Live: ‘On the Senate side we need to make (health care) work’

May 9, 2017 GMT

Republican U.S. Sen. Bill Cassidy took his campaign for health care reform to late night on Monday with a friendly appearance on ABC’s “Jimmy Kimmel Live.”

The nearly five-minute interview happened after Cassidy took to calling for a “Kimmel test” in light of news of Kimmel’s newborn son’s recent health complications.

“You have to have a health care program that not only works for the patients but also works for the taxpayer,” Cassidy told Kimmel during the appearance, which was pre-taped remotely, rather than Cassidy appearing in Kimmel’s Hollywood studio. “Our country is spending so much money right now on health care.”

In his intro, Kimmel noted Cassidy’s background as a physician, his wife Laura’s background as a surgeon and Cassidy’s co-founding of the Greater Baton Rouge Community Clinic.

“Obviously this is someone who cares about people’s health,” Kimmel said.


Kimmel delivered a passionate plea last week for keeping the federal Affordable Care Act after his newborn son had to undergo surgery for a heart defect. He argued that people with preexisting conditions, like his son, will struggle to get health care coverage if the GOP plan to repeal and replace is implemented. The U.S House approved the legislation last week.

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Kimmel showed a clip of Cassidy using the praise the “Kimmel test” in a recent interview with CNN to explain the requirement that any health care law should meet.

Cassidy, a physician, has been pushing his own health care overhaul plan, which he says passes the “Kimmel test.” Known as the Cassidy-Collins plan, the bill would bar the exclusion of people with preexisting conditions.

Cassidy repeatedly agreed with Kimmel on several points, including acknowledging that the House-backed health care plan would likely lead to higher premiums, based on the Congressional Budget Office estimates.

“Which is why on the Senate side we need to make it work,” Cassidy said.

. @billcassidy & — Elizabeth Crisp (@elizabethcrisp) May 9, 2017

Cassidy, who has been a supporter of President Donald Trump, repeatedly name-checked the president and said he believes that reform can be accomplished to make health care better under a POTUS-approved plan.

“Clearly, if we are going to fulfill President Trump’s contract with the American people -- that people would maintain their coverage -- Medicaid will be a part of that,” Cassidy said.


But Cassidy said that he believes that a program could be implemented that has better outcomes and patient satisfaction than the current Medicaid system.

“We will get there if the American people call their senators,” he said. “Not Democrat, not Republican -- an American plan. That’s where we need to be.”

U.S. Sen. Bill Cassidy’s health care plan: Let states keep Obamacare if they want

After joking that he thought anything named the “Kimmel test” in the medical field would be for something more embarrassing, Kimmel said he would offer his own test: “No family should be denied medical care because they can’t afford it.”

Other guests during the episode included actor and comedian Zach Galifianakis and Tracee Ellis Ross, who has won a Golden Globe for her role on the hit sitcom Black-ish, and musician Logic.