Republican insists his repeal bill passes 'Jimmy Kimmel test'

Sen. Bill CassidyWilliam (Bill) Morgan CassidyTo lower prescription drug prices, fix existing drug discount programs Kimmel writer tweets amount NRA has given lawmakers in response to shooting prayers Overnight Regulation: Trump unveils budget | Sharp cuts proposed for EPA, HHS | Trump aims to speed environmental reviews | Officials propose repealing most of methane leak rule MORE (R-La.) on Wednesday insisted his ObamaCare repeal bill passes the "Jimmy Kimmel test."

During an appearance on MSNBC's "Morning Joe," Cassidy, one of the architects of the latest GOP effort to repeal and replace ObamaCare, fired back at Jimmy Kimmel after the late-night host accused the Louisiana Republican of lying about his intentions on health care.

In a separate interview on CNN, Cassidy said more people would be covered under the health-care legislation he crafted with Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamCongress punts fight over Dreamers to March Pence tours Rio Grande between US and Mexico GOP looks for Plan B after failure of immigration measures MORE (R-S.C.).

"I'm sorry he does not understand," Cassidy said on CNN's "New Day," referring to Kimmel.

He added that the bill protects "those with pre-existing conditions."

"States like Maine, Virginia, Florida, Missouri — there'll be billions more dollars to provide health insurance coverage for those in those states that have been passed by by ObamaCare," he said.

"And we protect those with pre-existing conditions."

Cassidy's bill would allow states to seek waivers from certain ObamaCare protections, including one that prevents people with pre-existing conditions from being charged higher premiums due to their illness. 

But Cassidy argues people would still be protected because the bill requires states to show how coverage would still be "adequate and affordable" for those with pre-existing conditions. 

But critics say that is a vague standard that offers no real protection.  

Overall, the bill would eliminate ObamaCare's expansion of the Medicaid program, tax credits and cost-sharing subsidies to insurance companies. Those funds would instead be delivered as block grants for the states.

The Kimmel test originated after the talk-show host made a plea on his program that no child should be denied medical care after his own newborn son was born with severe medical problems.

Kimmel said his wealth ensured that his child would get the best treatment, and continue to receive it throughout his life, but that such care could be denied to other children whose parents did not have Kimmel's resources. 

The test is for a health-care bill to deliver care to all children, regardless of income.

Cassidy's comments come after Kimmel on Tuesday night went off on Cassidy, who said in the past any ObamaCare replacement needs to pass the "Jimmy Kimmel test."

Kimmel on Tuesday said the new legislation being pushed by Cassidy and Graham did not fulfill the promises Cassidy made.

“Your child with the pre-existing condition will get the care he needs if — and only if — his father is Jimmy Kimmel. Otherwise, you might be screwed,” Kimmel said.

He went on to say how Cassidy had in the past promised coverage for all, no discrimination based on pre-existing conditions, lower premiums for middle-class families and no life-time caps.

“And guess what? The new bill does none of those things,” Kimmel said.

“Not only did Bill Cassidy fail the Jimmy Kimmel test, he failed the Bill Cassidy test. He failed his own test,” Kimmel added.