Jimmy Kimmel began his Monday night show by telling his audience about his newborn son, Billy. The baby was born a week ago, and he suffered a major health scare at birth. In recounting this story, Kimmel also sharply criticized President Trump for the health care bill heading to Congress.
“I have a story to tell about something that happened to our family last week,” said Kimmel. “I will try not to get emotional, and before I get into it, know that it has a happy ending.” And Kimmel certainly became emotional. His voice cracked, and he frequently broke into sobs as he described the birth of his son, and the doctors’ immediate concern that the child wasn’t “receiving oxygen into his blood” — resulting in a diagnosis of heart disease followed by immediate open-heart surgery.
Kimmel showed pictures of adorable little Billy looking serene and sturdy after the operation. The host read from a list of nurses, doctors, and family members he wanted to thank. (In this, his segment recalled David Letterman’s return show after his own heart surgery in 2000.) The moment wasn’t without laughs: Kimmel thanked his wife “for having sex with me, which made all this possible.” It was a natural, interestingly rambling few minutes that seesawed back and forth between tears and laughter. And by the end, it turned serious.
“President Trump last month proposed a $6 billion cut in funding to the National Institute of Health,” Kimmel said. “And, thank God, our congressmen made a deal last night to not go along with that,” Kimmel continued. “They actually increased funding by $2 billion. And I applaud them for doing that. Because more than 40 percent of the people who would have been affected by those cuts to the National Institutes of Health are children … which is so unbelievably sad to me.”
Kimmel went on to speak about the new bill’s possible limitations on insurance for those with pre-existing conditions, and concluded, “If your baby is going to die, and it doesn’t have to, it should not matter how much money you make. I think that’s something, whether you’re Republican or a Democrat … we all agree on that, right? Whatever your party … we need to make sure people who are supposed to represent us, people who are meeting about this right now in Washington, understand that very clearly.”
Not so sure small-d democratic health care and the pre-existing-conditions element have anything like bipartisan agreement, but it was bracing to hear Kimmel speak so directly about the issues of the day. And it was even better to hear that his son is doing well.
Jimmy Kimmel Live airs weeknights at 11:35 p.m. on ABC. Watch clips and full episodes of Jimmy Kimmel Live for free on Yahoo View.
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