Jimmy Kimmel: NYT Fact-Checks Him

posted by Randy Bigley - 

Jimmy Kimmel's late-night rant about the latest Republican effort to repeal Obamacare has gone viral, but how accurate was it?

The New York Times did a little fact-checking. The paper's conclusion: He has a strong grasp of the healthcare issue but could stand to brush up on the details.

Kimmel said the bill would cut $243 billion in funding. The Congressional Budget Office hasn't scored the bill, and Jimmy was relying on the highest of three independent estimates -- which came from a left-leaning think tank.

Kimmel said people with pre-existing coverage might not be able to afford coverage. The bill maintains the pre-existing conditions clause, but new language allows states to seek waivers to allow higher premiums. So Jimmy likely got this one right.

Kimmel said funding disappears after 2026. He's right that the bill only funds healthcare through 2026, but Republicans insist that new appropriations would happen after that. Also, Obamacare's funding mechanism is not open-ended. Nobody's going to let healthcare funding evaporate.

Kimmel said states can opt out of providing "essential benefits." Again, states can seek limited waivers to opt out of certain essential benefits. In theory, these could include maternity care, mental-health services and prescription plans.

Kimmel said bill sponsor Senator Bill Cassidy lied to him about lifetime caps. Not exactly. The plan does allow insurers to put lifetime caps on coverage. When Cassidy appeared on Kimmel's show a few months ago, he said he felt that wouldn't be a major cost-saver but never committed to blocking them.

Randy Bigley

Randy Bigley

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