September 22nd, 2017

Kimmel: emotion and health care insurance policy

Jimmy Kimmel is a late-night talk show host with an audience of millions. He’s a genial guy who usually steers clear of politics except for the jokes.

But by now you probably know that he’s weighed in heavily on the subject of the reform of Obamacare. And whatever the GOP proposes, he’s against it if it cuts (or even leaves the states to potentially cut) a single thing about Obamacare.

And this despite the fact that, by Kimmel’s own admission, “Health care is complicated, it’s boring. I don’t want to talk about it. The details are confusing.”

I can attest to the fact that Kimmel is correct about how confusing it is, and how complicated. I would add that no one—not even bona fide health care insurance policy wonks—can see into the future and predict exactly what will happen as a result of any bill or program. It’s difficult enough to analyze the effects ex post facto, much less to predict them when a policy is merely some words on paper.

It’s also the case (as anyone who reads a wide variety of supposed experts on the matter will immediately discern) that there is a great deal of disagreement on any new bills’ effects, based mostly on what side of the political aisle a person is coming from.

Fancy that.

Kimmel’s got an emotional investment in the subject, and he’s got the right to speak, however much or little he knows. But why would Americans pay attention to him? And do they?

I don’t know the answers. I’ve not seen a poll that asks respondents, “Is Jimmy Kimmel your go-to guy for explaining health care insurance policy?” My guess is that people are influenced by such things, at least somewhat—as Kimmel himself probably knows, or he wouldn’t be so eager to speak out. The impetus for speaking out is emotional (his son was ill at birth, and it was no doubt a difficult and frightening experience for the new father), and the attraction of listeners to what he says is emotional as well.

The truth is that health care insurance is a deeply emotional issue for most people. Kimmel knows it, you and I know it, and politicians on both sides most assuredly know it. The Democrats have the advantage there, because their message plays to that emotion. The GOP holds the weak hand in the emotional arena, for obvious reasons.

But health care insurance is not only a deeply emotional issue, it’s a very complicated policy issue with many moving parts, and an understanding of those parts requires attention to the details of boring and sometimes legalistic policy and knowledge of math and economics. Not a mix that most people possess, and so the emotional appeals tend to win out with the public.

[NOTE: More here.]

33 Responses to “Kimmel: emotion and health care insurance policy”

  1. Fausta Says:

    Ben Shapiro knows from personal experience a lot more than Kimmel

  2. Kyndyll G Says:

    I’ll tell you what, Mr. Kimmel. I’d rather have a sick baby with my pre-Obamacare health insurance that actually … covered stuff.

    Since Obamacare started, I have paid out of pocket 100% for every single medical visit. Like most people, most of the time, I don’t have enough medical expenses to ever reach the new outrageous deductibles. In fact, I started going to clinics and urgent care – despite my company-provided “Cadillac” coverage that some people think I should be taxed for – to save money. My husband does have lifelong health conditions and does spend enough every year that eventually his insurance does cover some of the costs. Even so, it’s terrible coverage. We have paid more out of pocket for routine outpatient procedures than a six-day hospital cost us pre-Obamacare.

  3. Bilwick Says:

    Everything I’ve read about Kimmel’s views on State-mandated healthcare is nothing more than the fallacious Argument from Pity, a favorite of “liberals.”

  4. J.J. Says:

    The real biggie, cost shifting as a result of EMTALA, is never mentioned in any of these debates. Cost shifting is what drives health care costs inexorably higher, but no one mentions it. It is apparently too hot a potato. EMTALA (passed in 1984) ensures that no one will be denied healthcare. Thus, all claims that people are denied healthcare are just bogus. The real question is: Who will pay for it? Right now those with insurance, charitable organizations, and those who can pay out of pocket are paying for all the pro-bono medical care done as a result of EMTALA. Normal price discovery is impossible in such a system. So, the providers charge all they can get away with – just in case.

  5. Frog Says:

    So why do you, Neo, and millions of others, most of whom are functionally brain-dead as they use TV to induce sleep, actually watch Kimmel?

    Kimmel is part of the problem, not part of the solution. In watching him, you abet him enriching himself and his network, and in so doing you become part of the problem.

    Imagine for a moment the absence of all late-night TV! Presidential candidates appear on late-night ‘comedic’ TV!

    Spouses would talk, even snuggle, instead of arguing about control of the remote and which panderer to watch.

    As for me, I do not watch TV except to track the hurricanes. Even there, I am subjected to climate change propaganda.

  6. Tatterdemalian Says:

    Basing laws on feelings rather than facts is what destroys nations. Not because it’s impossible, but because it’s all too easy to do, and the end result is always the destruction of the justice system itself, against the cold, hard, ugly, and unyielding face of reality.

    Where the imagnary contradicts reality, reality destroys the imaginary. It doesn’t matter how much faith is placed in imaginary social constructs like the legal system, as soon as they try to attack reality, reality simply crushes them without caring or even noticing.

  7. Dave Says:

    may I ask why conservatives are so against mandatory health insurance purchasing? If everyone will get sick eventually, and making everyone buying insurance that everyone will eventually use will make insurance that much less expensive for everyone, why are conservatives so against it? I understand that conservatives believe in self-relying and against government forcing you to do anything, but if everyone will get sick and die eventually then why are conservatives so adamant in opposing government making everyone responsible in sharing the burden in the form of health insurance purchasing a mandate?

    You know like how conservatives like to complain that people are taking advantage of the system by only getting covered after they get sick, then why not make it a mandate everyone must have insurance since insurance depends on having enough health young people contributing into the system to cover the old and sick.

  8. Dave Says:

    The options are simple, there are two alternatives to keep insurance premiums down: either you allow insurance companies to charge a higher premium on those who are already sick or make everyone buy insurance. TBH, I don’t understand why conservatives are so against making these ignorant arrogant socialism loving young and healthy millennial contribute to society by purchasing insurance, since they are the only people i can think of that can truly benefit from health insurance not being mandatory.

  9. parker Says:

    The issue is 2 fold. Making a wider range of policies available evrywhere and making DC live by the rules they impose. The second one is the key.

  10. Ymar Sakar Says:

    His IQ is insufficient. But don’t worry, so was most of the Demoncrats in Congress. That’s why they had to pass it to know what was in it. They didn’t write it nor read it: their staffers did it and their staffers are bought and paid for by the Deep State. They certainly aren’t “paid” by the Demoncrats in many cases, since interns are free.

  11. Ymar Sakar Says:

    Parker is right about making DC obey their own rules and laws.

    But humans don’t have the power/will to face the Leftist alliance, let alone the factions and power blocs behind the Leftist alliance.

    When the Will is weak, it doesn’t matter that your nation is an exceptional superpower.

  12. Ymar Sakar Says:

    Dave Says:
    September 22nd, 2017 at 3:41 pm
    may I ask why conservatives are so against mandatory health insurance purchasing? If everyone will get sick eventually, and making everyone buying insurance that everyone will eventually use will make insurance that much less expensive for everyone, why are conservatives so against it?

    The issue isn’t mandatory health insurance purchasing. Firearms and cars have mandatory licensing, often with insurance. Do you see conservatives killing people and rioting over that yet?

    The issue is that DC and the insurance companies are skimming off the top, left, right, and bottom.

    The Leftist alliance, fascist DC corps, and state control of corporations, is too strong of a monopoly.

    In order to make mandatory insurance fair and affordable, most of the insurance companies would have to be disintegrated, the government would have to be forced to use the policies they force on the peons, and insurance would have to be state specific or across state lines.

    Also, there has to be an opt out compromise. With cars and firearms, it is “don’t own them”. With insurance, it would have to be don’t go on welfare or some other kind of compromise, which keeps them out of the system. In fact, this is the major key to putting costs down. Those that aren’t in the system, the system doesn’t need to pay for, but so long as ERs have to treat them, they are still leeching off the system in terms of account numbers.

  13. Ymar Sakar Says:

    but if everyone will get sick and die eventually then why are conservatives so adamant in opposing government making everyone responsible in sharing the burden in the form of health insurance purchasing a mandate?

    Go back to the history of Hitler. Which populations did he disarm first?

    Medical coverage is another way for government surveillaince and the SS to keep track of who owns guns and who is abusing children. It’s for the children.

    So those who are against DC politics will first be

    1. Disarmed
    2. Their children taken away by CPS, sold to child molestors, or held hostage.

    Thus keeping the Population Under Control

    Costs? Hah.

  14. Richard Aubrey Says:

    It’ll be emotional when your kid is the next Charlie Gard or your mom is on the Liverpool Pathway because the hospital needs the bed.

  15. Ymar Sakar Says:

    In watching him, you abet him enriching himself and his network, and in so doing you become part of the problem.

    We got another wannabe that thinks the problem is the media again.

    Even if you killed every single journalist and main sewer m propaganda arm, it wouldn’t deal with the problem. The people are the problem.

    Right now, the people are free, if only as an illusion, to watch what they want.

    This desperate kneeling to DC Trum as their God King, because Americans became so afraid of the advance of the Leftist alliance is shameful and weak. Home of the brave… hah.

    Every single person in the US is “part of the problem”. Ever read Genesis Six and the Tower of Babel in Deuteronomy 32, Psalms 82…

    Getting rid of Cain, did that solve the problem? Getting rid of Abel, did that solve the problem? Getting rid of the serpent in the garden, did that solve the problem? Did the Divine FLood solve the problem?

    So long as humanity exists, America’s “problems” aren’t going to go away.

  16. Dave Says:

    as inhumane as it sounds i am all for having the mandatory of emergency rooms accepting all people with emergency need repealed. If illegal immigrants know that they won’t be receiving free healthcare it would be too much a risk to stay and they would all self deport. we should repeal the birthright citizenship bs too, it won’t be inhumane than to deport parents since we would be deporting their illegal children along with them. I am serious, I am done with liberals’ unlawful ways, I am an immigrants, I came here because this country is better than the place i came from and I am sick of liberals try to turn into a place that is worse than the place i came from.

  17. Ymar Sakar Says:

    The Migrant workers came to the US to work and send back the money to their families. Which 50% of it gets taken away by the Mexican corrupt bureaucracy, and the rest is “taxed” by human traffickers and cartels.

    The Mexicans would gladly pay for healthcare, if they had a way to do it without somebody stealing it or putting them in jail for it.

    The problem isn’t which “policy” to adopt. No matter which policy Americans adopt, it will fail. Why? Because the Leftist alliance is in control, even if they aren’t in power. The Deep State is always in power.

    Whatever you do, whatever you think you are doing, they will stop, they will sabotage, and then find some scapegoat to blame.

    It doesn’t matter how smart you think you are, or how many immigrants or citizens you have, it is not enough to contest the power of the Left’s 1000 hydra head alliance, let alone the Deep State, let alone the factions Behind the State, let alone the other powers behind the factions behind the Deep State.

    You can do nothing productive until you kill the Leftist alliance, period. Even DC Trum, America’s King, is figuring that one out.

  18. Ymar Sakar Says:

    It’s why I kept my head in the primary and election, 2015-2016. If it had truly mattered whether Trum was elected or not, then one might have had to kneel down to the next King in return for salvation, resources, and aid.

    When everybody is going hysterical about the Leftist alliance, that is the best time to keep a rational and objective pov.

    Hercules had a story about his 12 labors. One of his labors, divine tasks, was to kill the mystical hydra beast. With each head cut off, the other heads keep the body alive until all the heads are regenerated. Conservatives, when they fought the Left, always thought that they had won a few battles, because they had cut down a few hydra heads. But the heads grew back, and more heads grew, and they could no longer withstand the forces arrayed against them. See Tea Party vs IRS.

    Now the Alt Right has come on the scene, believing they can do the task of slaying the 1000 hydra head. Alone, it seems. The young are ideal and full of passion. They have a chance to win. Unfortunately, they lack the wisdom and long term planning to understand exactly what they are up against.

    This is what they are up against.

    The most powerful person on the planet, the United States President, is under the influence and control of the Deep State. If such a person can’t do whatever he feels like doing… how do regular American citizens expect to be free?

    The moment Trum steps out of line, like JFK did, he’ll end up like JFK. Given Trum’s obsession with the JFK assassination, he probably is aware of this.

  19. Tatterdemalian Says:

    “may I ask why conservatives are so against mandatory health insurance purchasing?”

    Because being alive is a right, not a privilege that one must pay an insurance premium to deserve.

  20. blert Says:

    It’s as I suspected: McCain votes with the Democrats — every time it counts.

    As does Collins.

    Collins I can understand. Maine is Maine.

    McCain is REALLY voting with the Democrats to thwart Trump.

    All of his pubic statements are rationalizations.

  21. Ymar Sakar Says:

    In DC, the politicians are controlled via bribes, favors, and blackmail.

    That’s why Republicans fresh off the election cycle, go up to beat down incumbents, then in 2 weeks, they fall down and Obey after arriving in DC.

    Trum may have some more resistance, but it won’t last for long.

  22. steve walsh Says:

    Kimmel knows nothing but the emotions that result from having a child born with a serious, and treatable, defect.

  23. neo-neocon Says:


    Once again, Frog, you make assumptions based on zero evidence.

    Where do you see that I indicated I watch Kimmel? I do not watch Kimmel. But, since I read the news rather assiduously, I can’t help but notice that there’s a current story about him.

    As for why other people watch Kimmel, I’m just guessing, but I think it’s because they find him relaxing and amusing at the end of a long day.

  24. neo-neocon Says:


    The problem is that it’s a federal government restriction of liberty that’s forbidden by the Constitution.

    But it wouldn’t be forbidden to the states. Have you ever noticed that licensing regulations—be it of vehicles or of firearms—are done by the states? The states can do certain things (not everything, but certain things) the feds are not supposed to do, because state governments were felt by the Founders to be more local and more responsive to the people.

    If the federal government started to control car licensing, I suppose SCOTUS might uphold that (although it’s not mentioned in the Constitution as one of their powers) as having something to do with regulating interstate commerce. That’s a clause (regulating interstate commerce) that’s been stretched almost to the breaking point. But the federal government making people buy health insurance just because they are alive is NOT interstate commerce (as SCOTUS ruled recently). That’s why SCOTUS had to declare it a tax in order to let it pass.

    I maintain that even though it was a tax, it was an unconstitutional one because it comes under the category of capitation tax, which is forbidden (see this).

  25. Yankee Says:

    For a rich and famous guy like Jimmy Kimmel, the cost of personal health care is completely irrelevant. And you can be very wealthy, but still very unlucky with your personal health, like Steve Jobs dying from pancreatic cancer at age 56.

    I would like to know what the average monthly cost for health insurance is, and how that works out as a percentage of income. Good numbers can give us better insights.

  26. Ymar Sakar Says:

    Plenty of O care victims had the numbers.

    DC doesn’t care, and people can’t make DC care. Draining the swamp is a bit of a high fantasy dream.

  27. Ymar Sakar Says:

    It’s about the Children and the Healthcare…. yea, it is about sabotaging the Children and the Healthcare. Did anyone actually think it was some kind of prosperity 5 year plan?

  28. Ymar Sakar Says:

    huxley Says:
    March 17th, 2010 at 6:04 am
    As usual in this topic area I have a few problems.

    Here’s what tyranny looks like at the beginning

    Possibly, but as a flat assertion, no. This is what tyranny might look like at the beginning.

    My view regarding Democrats today is that this is what desperation looks like and it’s the beginning of a spectacular downfall. Who’s right? Time will tell.

    heh… Time will tell. As usual, nope.

  29. Ymar Sakar Says:

    I have believed for quite some time that the Democrats will stop at nothing to pass HCR.-Neo

    Nothing? Sounds like hyperbole to me.

    Will Democrats be assassinating “no” votes, kidnapping families, torturing aides, shutting down Fox News, or putting LSD on Rush Limbaugh’s steering wheel — as was supposedly planned for Jack Anderson back in the Nixon days?

    Were the Nixon days what tyranny looks like at the beginning?-H

    It’s nice that the internet is your own sort of confession and secret police record.

    huxley Says:
    March 18th, 2010 at 7:55 pm
    Neo: One of the classic ways you misstate my position is by assuming that everything I write here is a direct response to you.

    Eeeh, what, somebody is mistaking a position by assuming that everything I write here is a direct response to them… that sounds familiar.

    Oblio Says:
    March 17th, 2010 at 8:44 am
    huxley, it’s nice to have you back. Your point on the old thread was a good one: that inferences of intent can lead to confirmation bias. Fair enough, and we should challenge ourselves to find alternative explanations for the phenomena we observe.

    However, my problem here is that possibly moving towards tyranny is not the same as tyranny.

    And I am weary and alarmed by the general response on all sides of the American political debate that if whatever the other side does is tyranny or moving us towards it.

    “Sic semper tyrannis!” as John Wilkes Booth declared when he shot Lincoln, and he didn’t have a half-bad case to make.-H

    Youthful intemperance or maybe just blame it on the weed, like Hussein did.

    The point is that it is no wonder to me that Republicans felt betrayed enough to back Trum, the Alt Right hated the Left enough to back Trum, that Demoncrats hated themselves enough to back Trum.

    Hussein Obola was just, you know, not enough of a threat for people to care about. So when they got woken up, they suddenly panicked, which makes for good politics and election cycles.

  30. Frog Says:

    Neo: You began with “Jimmy Kimmel is a late-night talk show host with an audience of millions. He’s a genial guy who usually steers clear of politics except for the jokes.”

    I took that as an indication that you had actually observed him : “He’s a genial guy”. Does not sound like you’re guessing.
    If you use the present tense (He IS) to cite others’ assessments, I would like you to make that clear. Otherwise I will understand you are speaking for yourself.

  31. Lizzy Says:

    First, it’s now been discovered that Kimmel has been in contact with Charles Schumer as well as other healthcare advocacy groups to assist with his tv show’s pro Obamacare activism. Kimmel has transitioned from concerned parent to connected advocate, not unlike the ‘Jersey Girls’ 9/11 widows.

    Second, as a parent whose kids seems to have similar health issues, the care Kimmel’s son likely received had nothing to do with Obamacre. These treatments were developed & popularized several decades ago in the US’s free market health care environment. Further, I would bet that they are not available in socialized care countries such as the UK, Canada, and Cuba.

    From what I can tell, Kimmel isn’t just uninformed on this complex issue, but actively spreading a false narrative. Given my own concern for my kid’s long term access to care under Obamacare, I find Kimmel using his son for partisan activism and then again to shield himself from criticism particularly disgusting.

  32. neo-neocon Says:


    I am reporting on stories about Kimmel here, with quotes. I linked to the National Review article on the subject, but I probably read about 3 or 4 other articles on the subject of Kimmel before I wrote my piece. It was a big story in the news the day I wrote it, so there was no reason to think I was basing it on some personal knowledge I have of Kimmel. You should assume I’m reporting unless I indicate otherwise.

    What’s more, I can know that Kimmel is a genial guy because I’ve read it, or other people tell me so, or—guess what?—I may have once or twice seen a clip of Kimmel. I am certain that once or twice I was in the presence of someone I was visiting with who was engaged in watching Kimmel at the time, and I got an impression of Kimmel’s general personality. It is probably also the case that once or twice I was channel-surfing late at night and happened upon Kimmel and even watched 5 minutes or so. In other words, I could pick the guy out in a lineup.

    I do not watch Kimmel. I did not say or otherwise indicate I watch him. Until I say I watch someone, your default position should be that I don’t. There are plenty of TV personalities or TV shows that I never watch but can still characterize those persons or those shows, either because I’ve read about them, seen a few clips of them, have talked to people who watch them, or have on occasion encountered them for a few minutes while channel-surfing or visiting a friend who is watching the show.

    I don’t know whether you’ve seen other times I’ve referred to your making unwarranted assumptions about me, but you have. For example, you have come to conclusions about where I live, but your conclusions are not based on evidence here.

  33. GRA Says:

    Kimmel did it again on this week’s show. He took his *adorable son out to the audience to update them, and the world, about his medical progress. Kimmel then got teary eyed talking about healthcare, how CHIP’s funding has expired under the Trump administration accusing Trump of being too concerned about his recent tax reform bill (Trump can’t win w/ leftists can he?) – saying that the tax reform benefits the millionaires and billionaires (does Kimmel see the irony to this?), not those who need CHIP.

    *The babe has a big and somewhat bulging forehead. But hey he’s a special snowflake.

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Previously a lifelong Democrat, born in New York and living in New England, surrounded by liberals on all sides, I've found myself slowly but surely leaving the fold and becoming that dread thing: a neocon.

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