Health care bill flunks Jimmy Kimmel test

You know who is doing a better job of covering the Cassidy-Graham bill to repeal health care for Americans than many news organizations? Late night comedians. They’re at least paying attention to it.

Last night Jimmy Kimmel gave it the “Jimmy Kimmel” test, which he says Sen. Bill Cassidy helped develop. Its premise is that “no family should be denied medical care, emergency or otherwise because they can’t afford it.”

Kimmel said the bill passes the test and that “your child with a pre-existing condition will get the care he needs if, and only if, his father is Jimmy Kimmel.”

“Otherwise, you might be screwed,” he said.

Especially considering the federal government’s ambush of MinnesotaCare, the program for the working poor in Minnesota, there won’t be much left for health care in the nation, the Star Tribune acknowledges in its editorial today.

Among our concerns: It includes radical cuts to Medicaid, weakens consumer protections for pre-existing conditions and would reduce the aid consumers can tap to buy private health insurance. In addition, it would redirect federal health care dollars away from states like Minnesota that were early adopters of the ACA. More rural states, generally in the South and West, would get a boost.

The American Medical Association, a leading hospital trade organization, and AARP have raised similar concerns in statements opposing the bill. Nevertheless, the legislation remains on track for a vote on or before Sept. 30 — a critical deadline for passing it without reaching the Senate’s usual 60-vote supermajority. There are only 52 Republican senators, so getting to 60 would require unlikely support from Democrats. The month’s end is when the procedural window to circumvent 60 votes closes.

Republicans are attempting to slip the bill through before the end of the month, too little time for the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office to “score” the bill and publish a report on its impact on Americans.

“We have more than enough information. The CBO scoring is just a detail,” Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., said. He’s a co-sponsor of the bill.

On NPR this morning, Sen. James Lankford, R-OK, said he supports the bill because it gives power to states.

“Do states have an inherent belief in the neighbors around them that they can help provide care?” he asked.

They do, and Minnesota embraced that belief when it decided decades ago that working people should have health insurance.

Yesterday, the federal government said it didn’t much care about that.

Related: I’ve covered the GOP repeal plans since day one. Graham-Cassidy is the most radical (Vox)