If you were wondering how Jimmy Kimmel suddenly became an instant expert on Graham-Cassidy, it turns out he had a lot of help including from Sen. Minority Leader Chuck Schumer. The Daily Beast reports Kimmel has had a running conversation with Schumer and other outside experts for several weeks:
Behind the scenes, the ABC star was getting an assist. Kimmel and his team were in touch with health care officials, charities and advocacy groups, multiple sources told The Daily Beast. He also was in touch with the office of Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y) who, according to a source familiar with their conversations, “provided technical guidance and info about the bill, as well as stats from various think tanks and experts on the effects of [Graham-Cassidy].”…
Sources close to Kimmel said he was prepared to speak out regardless, given Cassidy’s past invocation of “the Jimmy Kimmel test.” Schumer gave him encouragement to do so. The two had been in touch “periodically” over the last several months as prior legislative efforts were considered and their conversations continued when Graham-Cassidy began gaining steam. “It’s part of that continued conversation,” a source said.
Kimmel and his staff also spoke with other activists and organizations opposing Graham-Cassidy in an effort to do his due diligence and “his research,” said one person familiar with the process. People spoke on the condition of anonymity in order to speak freely.
Did this help kill the bill? There’s no way to tell for certain but it may have. It certainly set the terms of the debate over the past week and put the GOP on the defensive. Did that influence McCain?
As Allahpundit pointed out earlier, McCain’s explanation for his decision to vote no rests heavily on his commitment to “regular order.” Maybe that’s a real concern but it’s hard to believe the guy who called Obamacare an “abysmal failure” just last year is now so worried about the process now that he’s going to throw away a chance at a partial repeal. What happened to this cantankerous opponent of Obamacare who wanted to repeal it, not help Democrats fix their mess?
Perhaps McCain’s opposition was so predictable here that Jimmy Kimmel’s Schumer-fed opposition didn’t really matter. That’s the story McCain seems to be going with but I have to say I don’t really believe it. I think it’s more likely that Schumer-Kimmel helped make up his mind. Perhaps we’ll find out more when McCain accepts the inevitable invitation to appear on Kimmel’s show.