Mick Mulvaney, President Trump's budget chief, said Thursday that a Republican plan to repeal and replace Obamacare should pass the "Jimmy Kimmel test," though his definition deviated from that of the comedian's.
The phrase "Jimmy Kimmel test" was coined by Sen. Bill Cassidy, R-La., 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 said he would vote for a healthcare bill only if it met that test, and Mulvaney was asked by a member of the audience at the Light Forum at Stanford University in Palo Alto, Calif., if he agreed with that standard.
"I do think it should meet that test," Mulvaney said. "We have plenty of money to deal with that. We have plenty of money to provide that safety net so that if you get cancer you don't end up broke … that is not the question. The question is, who is responsible for your ordinary healthcare? You or somebody else?"He said the debate centered on whether others should pay the burden of paying for someone's healthcare.
"That doesn't mean we should take care of the person who sits at home, eats poorly and gets diabetes. Is that the same thing as Jimmy Kimmel's kid? I don't think that it is."
Kimmel told Cassidy this week that his definition of the test was "that no family should be denied medical care, emergency or otherwise, because they can't afford it."
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."