Comedian Jimmy Kimmel offered Sen. Bill Cassidy, R-La., a test Monday for evaluating whether he should vote for a bill to repeal and replace Obamacare.
"I'll keep it simple," he said. "The Jimmy Kimmel test, I think, should be that no family should be denied medical care, emergency or otherwise, because they can't afford it. Can that be the Jimmy Kimmel test? Is that oversimplifying it?"
Cassidy coined the phrase "Jimmy Kimmel test" after Kimmel delivered a monologue last week in which he shared difficult circumstances about his son's birth and pleaded for politicians to keep Obamacare's guarantee for coverage of people with pre-existing illnesses.
Cassidy has since said that to earn his vote, an Obamacare replacement bill would need to pass the "Jimmy Kimmel test."
Of Kimmel's definition, Cassidy said: "Hey man you're on the right track, if that's the closest we can get that works great in government. Now we have to be able to pay for it. That's the challenge."
Cassidy has stressed that Obamacare has resulted in high-cost premiums and deductibles on middle-class families who do not qualify for subsidies under the law.
"We have got to have insurance that passes the Jimmy Kimmel test, but middle-class families can no longer afford it," Cassidy said.
While Cassidy steered the conversation toward people facing high premiums and deductibles under Obamacare, Kimmel replied: "I can think of a way to pay for it, don't give huge tax cuts to millionaires like me and instead leave it how it is."
Cassidy, who is also a gastroenterologist, encouraged viewers to call their Senators to engage on healthcare, whether Democrat or Republican.
"Don't just sit on the sidelines, engage. Don't just wait to be called, you call," Cassidy said.
His language was a deviation from the closely guarded Obamacare repeal efforts undertaken by Republicans, which have been carried out strictly along partisan lines. Cassidy has crafted an Obamacare replacement plan with Sen. Susan Collins, R-Me., that would allow states to keep Obamacare in place or come up with their own systems.