Is Jimmy Kimmel's Son OK? His Obamacare Speech Will Bring Tears To Your Eyes
On Monday night, Jimmy Kimmel shared an emotional story with his audience. Kimmel told the story of his son's birth last week, and a harrowing story of an emergency heart surgery the infant endured hours later. The story, as Kimmel assured before telling it, ultimately had a happy ending, but it still stirred a tremendous amount of sadness and concern, culminating in Kimmel's emotional plea that both Republicans and Democrats can agree nobody's baby should die for lack of money or health coverage.
The monologue spanned about 13 minutes, and if you have the time and don't mind watching things that are grippingly emotional, it's well worth your time. Kimmel, 49, discusses how his newborn son at first seemed entirely healthy, before a nurse noticed he looked a little purple and took him in for examination. Soon, after a series of X-rays found that his lungs were fine and healthy, it became clear that he was suffering from a heart defect.
The newborn was quickly taken to Children's Hospital Los Angeles, where a team led by cardiac surgeon Dr. Vaughn Starnes, who according to Kimmel, saved his son's life. He'll still need two more procedures, however ― one in a few months to close up the holes in his heart, and another "hopefully non-invasive" procedure in his teens.
They didn't do everything. He'll have to have another open heart surgery in three-to-six months to close those holes, but they want to wait until he's bigger, and then he'll have a third, hopefully non-invasive procedure sometime maybe in his early teens to replace the valve he has now. ... Six days after open heart surgery we got to bring him home, which is amazing, he's eating, he's sleeping, he peed on his mother today when she was changing his diaper, he's doing all the things he's supposed to do.
Amid his emotional story, many tears, and a long list of thanks for all the people who helped save his son's life, Kimmel also delivered a powerful statement about the ongoing political tumult surrounding health care, commenting on how "if your baby is going to die, and it doesn't have to, it shouldn't matter how much money you make."
We were brought up to believe that we live in the greatest country in the world, but up until a few years ago, millions and millions of us had no access to health insurance at all. You know, before 2014 if you were born with congenital heart disease like my son was, there was a good chance you'd never be able to get health insurance because you had a pre-existing condition. You were born with a pre-existing condition. And if your parents didn't have medical insurance, you might not live long enough to even get denied because of a pre-existing condition. 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, or something else, we all agree on that, right?
Kimmel pleaded, "Let's stop with the nonsense. This isn't football, there are no teams, we are the team. It's the United States." He ended the emotional monologue once again in tears, restating his point that "no parent should ever have to decide if they can afford to save their child's life." And with the terms of a potential Obamacare replacement bill currently being debated in the halls of Congress, stories like Kimmel's are an essential reminder of the human lives that hang in the balance.