01:12 - Source: CNN
Cassidy: Health bill should pass "Jimmy Kimmel test"

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"I ask does it pass the Jimmy Kimmel test," Sen. Bill Cassidy says

Health care debate moves to Senate after House vote on Obamacare

CNN  — 

Sen. Bill Cassidy on Friday set a new standard for measuring health care, coining what he called “the Jimmy Kimmel test.”

The Louisiana Republican cited Kimmel’s passionate monologue on health care when responding to a question from CNN’s John Berman on whether he could “support a bill that allows insurance companies to cap their payouts to customers.”

“I ask does it pass the Jimmy Kimmel test,” said Cassidy, who is also a physician. “Would the child born with a congenital heart disease be able to get everything she or he would need in that first year of life … even if they go over a certain amount?”

Cassidy said, “So simple answer: I want to make sure folks get the care they need.”

The senator’s remarks follow the late-night talk show host’s emotional plea Monday for affordable health care after revealing his newborn son had a serious heart defect. Kimmel defended Obamacare, explaining that children born with congenital heart issues such as his son’s could be turned down for health insurance before the law’s passage because they were deemed as having a pre-existing condition. He said health care should not be a partisan issue and urged Americans to hold elected officials accountable for health care issues.

RELATED: Conservatives lash out at Jimmy Kimmel for health care plea

On Thursday, the House of Representatives voted 217-213 to gut large portions of Obamacare, making sweeping changes to the nation’s health care system. Action now moves to the Senate.

In his interview with Berman, Cassidy said any bill the Senate passed would address concerns such as Kimmel’s and touted his own health care plan formed with Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, and four other co-sponsors.

He said his bill would take care of people with pre-existing conditions by “expanding the risk pool so that those who are sicker, if you will, are in a pool of those who are younger and healthier.”

He said that he would “personally be working to implement that plan” and that it would pass the Kimmel test.