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."
The host of ABC's “Jimmy Kimmel Live” has emerged as a strong celebrity advocate for universal health care since his infant son had to undergo open-heart surgery in April.
Kimmel made an announcement about his son during a memorable monologue at the time and has taken up the cause ever since. Part of his goal is for every child in the U.S. to have the same access to care that his son received.
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.
Kimmel's audience moaned and there were some scattered laughs.
Then Kimmel said he had no intention of pretending to be a healthcare expert. But he asked why Republicans seemed to ignore the opinons of the American Medical Association and other organizations that oppose the Graham-Cassidy plan.
“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.”
The legislation by Sens. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Bill Cassidy of Louisiana would repeal central elements of former President Barack Obama's signature health care law. States would receive block grants instead.
Cassidy told Fox News on Thursday that his “life’s work” was to take care of those with pre-existing conditions -- and said the bill would take care of them.
Republicans must vote on the bill by the end of next week or lose access to special budget rules that prevent Democrats from filibustering.
David Popp, a spokesman for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said the intention was to bring the bill to the floor by next week. It was unclear if Republicans had enough votes for passage.
President Trump said on Twitter that the developing plan was “GREAT!” and “Ends Ocare!”
No Democrat was on record as supporting the bill.
Thursday marked the third time this week that Kimmel used his late-night platform to talk healthcare. The host seemed particularly annoyed with Cassidy, whom he said had lied to his face about making sure any healthcare bill he supported would pass “the Jimmy Kimmel test.”
Kimmel’s monologues the previous two days were pointed and sharp; but Thursday's appeared to drift to pot shots at Trump.
Kimmel said Trump “hates” ObamaCare simply because of it invoked the former president’s name. Kimmel said Trump would sign anything to get Obama’s name off the bill, including sign “copies of the Quran in the Barnes & Noble in Fallujah.”
He said Trump doesn’t know the difference between Medicare and Medicaid and he “barely knows the difference between Melania and Ivanka.”