- The Washington Times - Friday, May 5, 2017

Republican Sen. Bill Cassidy of Louisiana has a new standard for any health care bill he is asked to support: “The Jimmy Kimmel test.”

Comedian Jimmy Kimmel made waves on Monday when he tearfully discussed his newborn son’s congenital heart disease before a national audience. The “Jimmy Kimmel Live” monologue veered into political territory when he addressed National Institutes of Health funding and President Trump’s vow to repeal and replace Obamacare.

Mr. Cassidy told CNN on Friday that his decision to vote on the Senate’s version of the American Health Care Act will be linked to Mr. Kimmel’s public policy preferences.

“Could you support a bill — let’s not talk in absolutes, but in general terms — could you support a bill that allows to cap their payouts to customers?” Mr. Cassidy was asked by “CNN Newsroom” co-host John Berman.

“As you present that, I ask, does it pass the Jimmy Kimmel test?” the senator replied. “Would the child born with a congenital heart disease be able to get everything he or she would need in that first year of life? I want it to pass the Jimmy Kimmel test. 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 — I think that’s what this child had — that they would receive all the services, even if they go over a certain amount.”

“Senator, it sounds like you have your work cut out for you to craft something new and apparently very different than what the House has proposed,” Mr. Berman replied.

The House’s revised American Health Care Act passed Thursday on a 217-213 vote without a single Democrat offering support.

“Welcome to the beginning of the end of Obamacare,” Vice President Mike Pence said in the Rose Garden afterwards.

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