Speed Reads

Late Night Tackles TrumpCare

Jimmy Kimmel responds to the criticism over his health-care plea, grills a friendly GOP senator

Jimmy Kimmel is one of the least-political late-night TV hosts, which is maybe one reason why his emotional plea for covering pre-existing conditions a week ago set off a political firestorm. After he urged House Republicans to scrap their plan, "they realized that what is right is right, and I saved health insurance in the United States of America," Kimmel said, self-deprecatingly, on Monday night's Kimmel Live.

Kimmel thanked all the people who donated to Children's Hospital Los Angeles and sent him and his family kind wishes, but, "and I know this is going to shock you, there were also some not-so-nice things people said online about me," he said. He pointed to a headline in the New York Post, "Jimmy Kimmel's obscene lies about kids and medical care," and another "from something called The Washington Times — I don't think it's a real newspaper," titled "Shut up Jimmy Kimmel, you elitist creep." "I cannot count the number of times I've been called an out-of-touch Hollywood elitist creep this week," Kimmel said, appreciatively, explaining that when he was growing up without much money, "my dream was to become an out-of-touch Hollywood elitist, and I guess it came true."

"And I would like to apologize for saying that children in America should have health care — it was insensitive, it was offensive, and I hope you can find it in your heart to forgive me," Kimmel deadpanned. "There are some very sick and sad people out there." He mentioned two: Newt Gingrich, whom he savaged over his comments on children in hospitals and late-night comedy, and Rep. Raul Labrador (R-Idaho), who said nobody dies because of lack of health care. But he found one Republican whose views he found more simpatico: Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-La.), who came up with a "Jimmy Kimmel Test" for health-care legislation.

Cassidy appeared via satellite, and Kimmel asked some pretty good questions. "Since I am Jimmy Kimmel, I would like to make a suggestion as to what the Jimmy Kimmel Test should be," Kimmel said: "No family should be denied medical care, emergency or otherwise, because they can't afford it." Cassidy said Kimmel is "on the right track," but "we've got to be able to pay for it, and that's the challenge." Kimmel had a suggestion: "Don't give a huge tax cut to millionaires like me and instead leave it how it is." Watch below. Peter Weber