Jimmy Kimmel vs. Donald Trump: Who’s more qualified?

Who’s More Qualified to Give Opinions About Health Care Policy, Jimmy Kimmel or Donald Trump?

Who’s More Qualified to Give Opinions About Health Care Policy, Jimmy Kimmel or Donald Trump?

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Sept. 21 2017 2:06 PM

Who’s More Qualified to Give Opinions About Health Care Policy, Jimmy Kimmel or Donald Trump?

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Health care policy wonks Jimmy Kimmel and Donald Trump.

Photos by Valerie Macon/AFP/Getty Images and Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images.

In a turn of events that began when his child was born with a condition that required open-heart surgery, ABC late-night host Jimmy Kimmel has become the face of public opposition to Affordable Care Act repeal. Kimmel has been specifically critical of the way Republicans have proposed repeal bills that would allow states to waive the ACA's requirement that insurers offer reasonably priced coverage to individuals with pre-existing medical conditions. As he's (correctly) explained, such waivers—like the one in the Graham-Cassidy bill currently looming in the Senate—would likely make it impossible for many families like his whose breadwinners aren't well-compensated celebrities to afford care for their sick kids.

Some on the right have responded by telling Kimmel he should stick to entertainment:

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You may have noticed a flaw in this strategy, namely that the nation's most powerful Republican got elected president largely because he starred on a reality show for loud idiots. So: Who is more qualified to discuss public policy, Jimmy Kimmel or president of the United States? Let's break it down.

1. Attitude toward reading complicated material:

Kimmel's detailed Wednesday monologue would indicate that he has done a fair amount of research on the issue of ACA repeal.

Trump famously doesn't like to read briefing papers if they're long and don't involve pictures.

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2. Ability to explain health care reform in layman's terms:

Kimmel, again, did this on Wednesday.

Trump has famously never demonstrated, in either public or private, any understanding of how Republican health care plans work.

3. Intellectual pedigree of TV co-stars:

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Kimmel worked with a former presidential adviser and Yale Law School graduate on a distinguished high-brow program that involved tests of knowledge in areas such as literature and history.

Trump's Celebrity Apprentice co-stars included Gene Simmons and Jose Canseco.

4. History of being so bad at his ostensible occupation (business, for Trump; being a comedian, for Kimmel) that investors in one of his enterprises insisted shortly before its second bankruptcy filing that he resign from any role in its management:

In 2009, bondholders in Trump's publicly traded Trump Entertainment Resorts organization forced him out of his role running the company shortly before it filed for its second bankruptcy.

This sort of thing has never happened, to my knowledge, to Jimmy Kimmel. His relationships with the other creators of Crank Yankers appear to be solid. The Man Show, its problematic sexual politics aside, never filed for bankruptcy even one time.

My verdict? Neither of these people should probably be president, but especially not Donald Trump.