The Jimmy Kimmel test


Author: Harold Pollack

Harold Pollack is Helen Ross Professor of Social Service Administration at the University of Chicago. He has served on three expert committees of the National Academies of Science. His recent research appears in such journals as Addiction, Journal of the American Medical Association, and American Journal of Public Health. He writes regularly on HIV prevention, crime and drug policy, health reform, and disability policy for American Prospect,, and other news outlets. His essay, "Lessons from an Emergency Room Nightmare" was selected for the collection The Best American Medical Writing, 2009. He recently participated, with zero critical acclaim, in the University of Chicago's annual Latke-Hamentaschen debate.

2 thoughts on “The Jimmy Kimmel test”

  1. Apologies if this post appears twice.

    The substance of the bill is awful, but that's not the worst part. The worst part is that there may be 50 senators willing to vote for a law that they cannot defend honestly. In fact, they can't defend it at all, so they're hiding the whole thing from the public, and even worse, from most senators. It's ridiculous and utterly disgraceful that some senators will vote for the bill without having a clue what's in it beyond the fact that they're repealing a bill that many of them probably don't understand, and all 50 will vote for a bill without knowing a thing about its real world impact. Not a thing. It's bad enough that the president of the US stood in front of the UN General Assembly and criticized a "deal" agreed to by every major power in the Assembly on one side and Iran on the other, that we know he doesn't understand, and almost certainly, has never even tried to understand. But here, if the bill passes, it will mean that 50 senators voted for something that they can't even pretend to understand. It's a naked violation of the oath they took to "well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office."

    The amazing thing is that this was partly set up with a barefaced lie that Obamacare was passed in secret and without the opportunity for Repubs to weigh in. It's right up there with Richard Pryor's "Who you going to believe, me, or your lying eyes?" Except in this case they're relying on the ignorance and prejudices of their voters and media sycophants to make the lie work.

    We've entered a world where hyperbole has been made real. We really do have a president who lies almost every time his lips move, and really do have a senate operating in almost total secrecy. If the bill passes, it's hard to see how this whole mess ends with anything other than the virtual annihilation of either the party perpetrating the fraud or the constitutional democracy, that, however imperfect, has kept us together (with one glaring exception) so far. I fondly hope and fervently pray that the foregoing sentence turns out to be worry-wart hyperbole that would embarrass even Andrew Sullivan. But we should never have come this close to disaster.

  2. But Kimmel is wrong! There must be thousands of american families who could endow their kids' lifetime medical costs without penury. So his statement that only his son would be able to afford care under the Graham-Cassidy rules allowing existing-condition waivers is false. And therefore we must make massive cuts to Medicaid and light a 10-year fuse for legislative hostage-taking to destroy the program entirely.

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