Jimmy Kimmel's Emotional Speech Could Make A Difference

by Nicole Pomarico
Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

Jimmy Kimmel's opening monologues on Jimmy Kimmel Live are known for being funny every night, but this time, he took a different approach. Instead, he used the time to talk about a subject that's very important to him. On Monday night, Kimmel opened up about his son's heart defect in order to shed light on the country's need for affordable health care. And even though it was obviously incredibly difficult for him to discuss so publicly, it was awesome to see him put that aside for a cause that means a lot to him.

With Republicans hoping to revive their healthcare bill that could end in repealing and replacing the current Affordable Care Act, Kimmel decided to make a plea for people to come together, despite their political party, to fight for health care for everyone — especially parents who may eventually have to make the hard decision to treat their children's diseases and illnesses or to feed their families.

Kimmel's words about healthcare are important, and at the same time, so is the way he presented them. It was amazing how willing he was to be vulnerable in front of such a large audience — both in his studio and the millions watching at home. Not only was he honest about something personal his family experienced, but he also let his emotions shine through in a way a lot of people might shy away from.

From the beginning of his story, it was obvious Kimmel was getting choked up as he told the story of his baby, Billy, and his birth. At first, he seemed like a healthy baby, but then after Billy turned purple, the nurse in the room quickly realized something was wrong. After testing, they found out that he was born with a heart disease, and fortunately, a surgeon at a children's hospital was able to save his life. Billy will need another surgery in a few months, but it sounds like he's going to be OK.

Of course, any parent is going to speak about their children with some level of love or passion, but when it comes to a subject like this, I can't imagine how hard it must be. It was heartbreaking to hear him admit how scared he was and see him tearing up like that, especially since he's normally trying to make his audience laugh.

But there's a huge benefit to Kimmel opening himself like that, and it's that he'll get a lot of people's attention. Crying on national TV, when that's something you never do? That's bound to open a lot of people's eyes to an issue they may not realize could affect a family like that. If insurance companies are able to deny coverage to babies with pre-existing conditions, parents in the situation like Kimmel and his wife faced may not be able to save their own kid, and like Kimmel said, that's something no family should ever have to face.

Hopefully, Kimmel's emotional words will encourage more people to take action for affordable healthcare. Lives of babies (and plenty of adults) depend on it.