Jimmy Kimmel made another emotional plea for viewers to protect affordable access to health care during his show last night––and his son, Billy, who underwent a second heart surgery last week after being born with congenital heart disease, also made an appearance.
“Hi, I’m Jimmy. This is Billy,” Kimmel said while holding his son. “He’s fine everybody. He may have pooped, but he’s fine.”
Kimmel discussed the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), a program which covers about 9 million children whose parents usually earn too much to qualify for Medicaid, but not enough to afford private health insurance. The program has been jeopardized because Congress failed to secure funding in October.
Overwhelmingly, Democrats and Republicans supported it until now. Now CHIP has become a bargaining chip. It’s on the back-burner while [Congress] works out their new tax plans,” Kimmel said. “So that means parents of children with cancer and diabetes and heart problems are about to get letters saying their coverage could be cut off next month. Merry Christmas, right?”
He continued: “I don’t know what could be more disgusting than putting a tax cut that goes to rich people ahead of the lives of children. If these were potato chips they were taking away from us, we would be marching on Washington with pitchforks and spears right now.”
Speaking about his son’s condition, Kimmel said, “Billy is doing great, by the way. He has one more surgery,” Kimmel said. “They say he’ll probably on track to win at least a bronze medal in the Olympics in 2036.”
Kimmel and his wife, Molly McNearny, who is also the co-head writer of Jimmy Kimmel Live, first made headlines in the spring after Billy was born and Kimmel spoke candidly about his heart defect and the emergency surgery which saved his life.
My wife and I welcome a new baby and it is quite a story… https://t.co/VTT0oBsRFK
— Jimmy Kimmel (@jimmykimmel) May 2, 2017
“We were brought up to believe that we live in the greatest country in the world. But until a few years ago, millions and millions of us had no access to health insurance at all,” Kimmel said at the time. “You know, before 2014, if you were born with congenital heart disease, like my son was, there’s a good chance you’d never be able to get health insurance, because you had a pre-existing condition.”
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