Sen. Cassidy Responds To Kimmel: "I'm Sorry He Does Not Understand"


On Wednesday's edition of CNN's New Day, Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-LA) responded to Jimmy Kimmel for criticizing his use of the late show host's name in conjunction with his health care proposal.

JIMMY KIMMEL, ABC HOST: Do you believe that every American, regardless of income, should be able to get regular checkups, maternity care, et cetera, all of those things that people who have health care get and need?


KIMMEL: So yes is Washington for no, I guess.

Stop using my name, OK?

Because I don't want my name on it. There's a new Jimmy Kimmel test for you. It's called the lie detector test and you are welcome to stop by the studio and take it anytime.


CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: Harsh words, not apparently in jest. And joining us now is Senator Bill Cassidy.

What is your response, Senator?

CASSIDY: I am sorry he does not understand. Under Graham-Cassidy-Hiller-Johnson, more people will have coverage and we protect those with pre-existing conditions. States like Maine, Virginia, Florida, Missouri, there will be billions of more -- billions more dollars to provide health insurance coverage for those in those states who have been passed by by ObamaCare and we protect those with pre-existing conditions.

CUOMO: Well, the counter argument will be pre-existing conditions will be up to the pricing of the particular state and market. So it's not what it is now, where you can't allow insurance companies to cherry-pick and punish people for pre-existing conditions. So the protection is not the same, Senator, on that one point.

CASSIDY: The protection is absolutely the same. There's a specific provision that says that if a state applies for a waiver, it must ensure that those with pre-existing conditions have affordable and adequate coverage.

CUOMO: But --

CASSIDY: Affordable and adequate coverage.

CUOMO: But the schedule of what people might pay that is out there making the rounds, pending a CBO score, which you know, you guys have to wait for under the rules for this type of reconciliation, the price won't be the same as it is now. It's going to be different.


CASSIDY: I think the price will actually be lower. What is being circulated is by those who wish to preserve ObamaCare and they are doing everything they can to discredit the alternative.

But the reality is, if you are in Maine, Virginia, Texas, Tennessee, there will be money in your state to help lower your premiums and provide coverage. And, by the way, we protect those with pre-existing conditions.

CUOMO: Right, but protect means that they don't get priced out of their own care. That's the affordable part. And that winds up being the rub.

Yes, you are giving money to the states directly as a block grant. Yes, some governors will like that. But you have some Republican governors, you got the AMA, the American Medical Association; you got the AARP, you got the CBO, who are all saying, no, this bill does not keep as many people covered as is the case --


CASSIDY: Can I respond to that?

CUOMO: Absolutely.

CASSIDY: We actually will cover more. The reason they base that is on a study of a different bill but it depends upon the individual mandate. And those folks put great credit in the individual mandate which penalizes, coerces working families into purchasing insurance.

As it turns out, the best data shows that the individual mandate does not work. What does work is giving power to governors.

But there's a fundamental difference. Democrats think that Washington, D.C., should have the power and that people should be coerced. Republicans think that the state and the patients should have the power and that we should help those families, not penalize them. There's a fundamental difference. But Graham-Cassidy will insure more folks and we protect those with preexisting conditions.

Cassidy also addressed Kimmel's criticism on Wednesday's Morning Joe:

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