On his show on Monday evening, Jimmy Kimmel implored Congress to ensure that all Americans have healthcare after his newborn son underwent a terrifying and unexpected heart surgery shortly after he was born.
In a highly emotional monologue, Kimmel first recounted the birth of his son, Billy, revealing that shortly after Billy's birth, a perceptive nurse noticed that he had a heart murmur and ended up rushing him into emergency surgery to repair a hole in his heart.
Kimmel indicated that, thankfully, Billy is now fine, but does have a heart condition that he will live with for the rest of his life. Kimmel also profusely thanked all of the doctors and nurses at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center who helped save his son, indicating that he is enormously grateful to them.
The talk show host then used his experience to highlight the importance of ensuring healthcare for all Americans and condemned the Trump administration for seeking to reduce funding for the National Institute of Health and to diminish Obamacare protections for Americans.
Kimmel reflected on a pre-Obamacare world in which millions of Americans, particularly those with pre-existing conditions—like his newborn son now has—did not have access to health insurance and lost their lives as a result. Kimmel warned of the dangers of returning to an era in which income and health status dictate one's access to insurance and implored politicians to make sure all Americans have quality healthcare.
If your baby is going to die...it shouldn’t matter how much money you make...Don’t let their partisan political squabbles divide us. This is not football. This is not about picking teams. We are the team — it’s the United States of America...No parent should ever have to decide if they can afford to save their child's life. It just shouldn't happen.
Twitter users responded overwhelmingly positively to Kimmel's story about his son and his impassioned plea for healthcare. Many users indicated that they found Kimmel's story about Billy moving and heartbreaking. They also praised Kimmel for using his television show as a platform for advocating for Americans' healthcare, saying that money should never be equated with the level of care one receives and that pre-existing health conditions should not be used to exempt individuals from health insurance.
Overall, Kimmel's moving story about his son and his heartfelt plea for healthcare for all served as a profound reminder of the humanity behind the healthcare debate in the United States. Hopefully, legislators paid attention to Kimmel's monologue and will heed his warnings when it comes to determining their stance on the latest endeavor to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act.