Jimmy Kimmel defends the ACA and says that healthcare should be a non-partisan issue.
Jimmy Kimmel appeared on his late night show on Monday with a single mission for his monologue: explain to his audience why he was absent from the show last week. It’s certainly odd for the host of a talk show, whose name is literally in the title, to disrupt their show’s schedule for an entire week on a whim, but that’s exactly what Kimmel seemingly did during the last week of April.
During an emotional account of what occurred, Kimmel tearfully told viewers that his son, William “Billy” Kimmel had been born on Friday, April 21st, and that while the delivery was fairly easy for all involved, what happened next was every parent’s worst nightmare. A particularly attentive nurse noticed within hours of Billy’s birth that he seemed to have a heart murmur, which is normal for babies and often not an indication of a weak heart, but that he was also a bit purple, which was not normal.
After hours of tests and a transfer to Children’s Hospital in Los Angeles, Billy was diagnosed with tetralogy of Fallot with pulmonary atresia, a congenital heart defect that requires several surgeries throughout the patient’s lifetime. Billy had his first open heart surgery just three days after he was born, and Kimmel described it as the “longest three hours of my life.” The operation was successful and Billy is already at home, with another surgery on their radar between three to six months from now.
“Six days after open heart surgery we got to bring him home,” Kimmel said before naming and thanking every single nurse, doctor, friend, and family member involved in Billy’s care. “He’s eating, he’s sleeping, he peed on his mother today while she was changing his diaper.”
Throughout this emotional account of Billy’s medical scare, Kimmel tears up many times and is so grateful to everyone that helped them through this tough time that he can’t even get the words out. One of the times that Kimmel gets choked up is when he talks about the other family members and children he encountered at the Children’s Hospital. He said that children from families of all backgrounds and socio-economic status were present, all getting an equal opportunity at medical care because of the current state of healthcare and the funding that the Children’s Hospital receives from the National Institute of Health (NIH).
As Kimmel pointed out, this wasn’t always the case. Before 2014, when the Affordable Care Act was approved, millions of people were completely without health insurance and with the ACA people with pre-existing conditions (like congenital heart disease) are able to get insurance. Donald Trump and his administration attempted to cut funding for the NIH, which gives millions of dollars in grants to the Children’s Hospital of LA alone every year, and Kimmel took that moment to thank the members of Congress for instead increasing funding for healthcare. Since 40 percent of the people that would have been affected by a cut in funding are children, this move ensured that children are given the best chance at life.
“If your baby is going to die and it doesn’t have to, it shouldn’t matter how much money you make. I think that’s something that, whether you’re a Republican, or a Democrat, we all agree on that, right?” Kimmel asked his audience last night. “I saw a lot of families there and no parent should ever have to decide if they can afford to save their child’s life.”
Watch the video below to see Kimmel’s tear-jerking monologue.