Report: Kimmel Coordinated With Schumer for Months to Oppose GOP Efforts to Repeal Obamacare

Jimmy Kimmel / Getty
September 22, 2017

Late-night comedian Jimmy Kimmel and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D., N.Y.) have coordinated behind the scenes for months to oppose Republican efforts to repeal Obamacare.

Kimmel, whose son was born with a congenital heart disease, has been an outspoken critic of the Republican efforts to repeal Obamacare because he believes that the most recent Republican efforts to replace Obamacare don't protect people with pre-existing conditions like his son, the Daily Beast reported.

The "Jimmy Kimmel Live" host has performed multiple monologues in the past week decrying the bill proposed by Republican Sens. Lindsey Graham (S.C.) and Bill Cassidy (La.) to repeal and replace Obamacare.

Kimmel's public condemnation of the latest Republican healthcare bill was, behind the scenes, being supported by a number of "health care officials, charities and advocacy groups," as well as Schumer's office. Schumer "provided technical guidance and info about the bill, as well as stats from various think tanks and experts on the effects of [Graham-Cassidy]," the Beast reported.

Schumer encouraged Kimmel to speak out in opposition to Graham and Cassidy's bill when it became apparent that Republicans would again try to repeal Obamacare before the September 30 budget reconciliation deadline. The two were in touch "periodically" in a "continued conversation," one source said.

Kimmel slammed Cassidy, Fox News co-host Brian Kilmeade, and other Republicans on Wednesday night for their criticism of his commentary against the Graham-Cassidy bill.

"The reason I'm talking about this is because my son had an open-heart surgery, then has to have two more, and because of that I learned that there are kids with no insurance in the same situation. I don't get anything out of this, Brian, you phony little creep. Oh I'll pound you when I see you," he said.

Sen. John McCain (R., Ariz.) announced on Friday that he "cannot in good conscience vote for the Graham-Cassidy proposal," prompting Kimmel to praise McCain on Twitter.

"Thank you @SenJohnMcCain for being a hero again and again and now AGAIN," he wrote.

This is the second time that McCain has opposed the Republican efforts to repeal Obamacare since July.