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Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Sometimes when celebrities speak out on a controversial issue, negative reactions can discourage them from engaging again.

Not Jimmy Kimmel.

Back on the air Monday night, Kimmel feigned surprise to learn that the House had repealed and “replaced” Obamacare, despite his heartfelt monologue about why every child should be able to get the kind of care that had relieved his infant son’s congenital heart defect.

“They voted against it anyway?” he exclaimed.

Recovering from this outrage, Kimmel described the responses to his outspoken interventions, both positive and negative. He let loose a merciless retort to the ever-ridiculous Newt Gingrich, one of the “very sick and sad people in this country…I don’t know if the double layers of Spanx are restricting the blood flow to his brain.”

But lest anyone consider the comic too partisan, he then opened up a friendly dialogue via remote with Senator Bill Cassidy (R-LA), who said publicly that any health care bill should pass “the Jimmy Kimmel test,” meaning every child in America must be fully insured.

The host found that pleasing, but pressed Cassidy toward a broader and more democratic definition. And before the senator departed, Kimmel presented him with a new, improved, and much more radical “Jimmy Kimmel test” for American health care, plus an obvious way to pay for it.

This is late-night TV at its best –funny, engaged, informative — and Kimmel deserves big props for continuing to push forward.

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Copyright 2017 The National Memo