Sen. Bill Cassidy betrays sick kids, fails the ‘Jimmy Kimmel test’

By Robert Mann

I was a sucker. Like the parents of sick children I’ve seen on TV in recent weeks, I had faith in U.S. Sen. Billy Cassidy’s goodwill when he told late-night host Jimmy Kimmel he would protect sick children and their families.

“If your baby is going to die and it doesn’t have to,” an emotional Kimmel told his audience in May after his son underwent heart surgery, “it shouldn’t matter how much money you make.”

Asked about Kimmel’s statement, Cassidy told CNN he wouldn’t support a health care bill in the Senate unless it met “the Jimmy Kimmel test.” That, Cassidy explained, meant, “Would a child born with a congenital heart defect be able to get everything she or he would need in the first year of life?” Later, appearing by satellite on Kimmel’s show, Cassidy expanded the test to include “not only on the first year [of life] but every year thereafter.”Screenshot 2017-05-12 17.37.24

A physician who worked in the state’s charity hospital system, Cassidy led us to believe he would prioritize the interests and needs of sick children. He wanted us to buy the idea that he cared for these families. He assured us he would not support a bill that hurt them.

I swallowed it and wrote, “Perhaps more than any member of the Senate Republican caucus, Cassidy understands the struggles of working-poor families. I suspect he does not want it on his record or his conscience that he made life harder — or more deadly — for these families.”

What a fool I was.

On Tuesday (July 25), Cassidy voted with the Republican majority to begin debate on repealing the Affordable Care Act, which would make it difficult (if not impossible) for millions of families with sick and dying children to get the critical care they need.

Cassidy also supported an amendment — offered by Sens. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, and Rob Portman, R-Ohio — that makes a mockery of his Kimmel test pledge. The Cruz amendment (it failed with only 43 votes) would roll back Medicaid expansion and encourage insurance companies to hawk bare-bones policies that provide little or no meaningful coverage.

Just as troubling, the Senate took up Cruz’s language without an analysis from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), meaning Cassidy backed a bill without bothering to investigate the effects on families he says he would protect.

On Wednesday, Cassidy was one of 45 votes for legislation that would have repealed most of Obamacare without a replacement, an appalling betrayal of the parents he had assured on Kimmel’s show. The CBO estimates the amendment would cause 32 million people to drop or lose their health insurance.

Early Friday morning, Cassidy betrayed these families again when he supported the so-called “skinny repeal” legislation, which the CBO said would cost 16 million their health coverage. That measure failed 49-51.

Continue reading on NOLA.com at this link.

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4 Responses to Sen. Bill Cassidy betrays sick kids, fails the ‘Jimmy Kimmel test’

  1. earthmother says:

    Amazed that you of all people could be snookered, Professor Mann. We learned a long time ago that Cassidy may be a doctor but not a decent, caring, empathetic human being. He was a jindal puppet and now he dances to the trump song and dance. He has one answer to health insurance – which is not the same as health CARE – everyone should fund a health savings account and all with be well.- if you are wealthy and never need routine care. Cassidy is a hypocrite, a liar and a dangerous and predictable ideologue.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Fredster says:

      Cassidy is a hypocrite, a liar and a dangerous and predictable ideologue.

      And those are his good qualities earthmother. LOL

      I never trusted a thing that came out of Frankencassidy’s mouth.

      Like

  2. Stephen Winham says:

    Senators Cassidy and Kennedy have both hitched their wagons to the wrong star and, unless people are very forgetful, they will both fall with that star. At least Kennedy doesn’t really pretend to care about health care. Senator Cassidy’s supposed ally in development of health care policy (Senator Collins) did not vote for the “skinny” bill last night. She stood strong with Senators McCain and Murkowski. We have to hope their bravery will be rewarded. A major goal of any national initiative on health care should be cost control – not by denial of services, but by reducing profit margins. Any honest assessment of our current system reveals profit trumps everything else (no pun intended). However, health care is not provided in a free market environment. Expecting people to invest in health care savings plans would do nothing to control costs of health care or increase access for those with no excess disposable income – that should be obvious to anybody, as should the logical ultimate solution.

    Liked by 2 people

    • earthmother says:

      “Expecting people to invest in health care savings plans would do nothing to control costs of health care or increase access for those with no excess disposable income – that should be obvious to anybody, as should the logical ultimate solution”

      Mr. Winham – that reality is precisely what got Cassidy riled up at town hall meeting when my husband made that very statement. Spouse, by the way, has the MBA and work experience to know those things. Cassidy yelled at spouse, telling him “you don’t know what you’re talking about.” I politely disabused then LA lege Cassidy of that misconception, and it was at that moment that we wrote off Cassidy as a rational, decent, person with a lick of common sense.

      Like

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