In his mission to advocate for health care, Jimmy Kimmel made CHIP one of his priorities. The Children’s Health Insurance Program helps cover uninsured children of modest families that make too much money to qualify for Medicaid, and the late-night TV host made a point to call out Congress for letting the program expire. To explain the current status of CHIP, Kimmel acted out a scene through a coffee shop “Barista Theatre” sketch.
“Funding for CHIP should have never been allowed to run out in the first place,” Kimmel said during a monologue on Jimmy Kimmel Live. “This is a program that is supported overwhelmingly by both parties, Republicans and Democrats, and all [House Speaker] Paul Ryan and [Senate Majority Leader] Mitch McConnell had to do was put it up for a vote, it would’ve been a done deal. But they decided to use it as a bargaining tool instead.”
In the sketch, this scenario became the equivalent of ordering a cappuccino and getting “one giant bag of horse sh—” to go along with it. “It’s kind of a two-for-one thing,” the barista said. “If you want the cappuccino, you also have to pay for a giant bag of horse sh—.”
“But what if I just want the cappuccino?” Kimmel asked.
“Whoa, buddy!” the barista responded. “If you start making demands like that, I will shut down this entire coffee establishment.”
As it happens, this is not unlike how Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi described the Republicans’ short-term renewal of CHIP for six years, which was lumped together with the GOP’s proposed spending package amid rumblings of a government shutdown. “This is like giving you a bowl of doggy doo, put a cherry on top and call it a chocolate sundae,” she said, as reported by CNN. “This is nothing.”
“The bottom line,” as Kimmel explained earlier on his show, “If [Republicans] want to fund CHIP, which they claim they do because they care about children, they could do that immediately. If they took a vote on CHIP alone, there’d be no votes against it. But they want to use children’s health as leverage.”
The host called Donald Trump’s tweet about CHIP one of his “weird occasional flashes of common sense.”
“CHIP should be part of a long term solution, not a 30 Day, or short term extension,” the president tweeted, which Kimmel said “happens to be correct but it also happens to be the exact opposite of what the White House said yesterday.”
Watch Kimmel’s full monologue and sketch in the clip above.