Last night, Jimmy Kimmel delivered an emotional monologue on Jimmy Kimmel Live! where he revealed his newborn son needed emergency open heart surgery shortly after being delivered last week; a terrifying ordeal for any parent. The good news is Kimmel's son is doing well even though he'll require follow-up procedures down the road.
And while it would've been completely justifiable for Jimmy Kimmel to stay on paternity leave and never leave his son's side after almost losing him, the late night host came back to work for one show because the experience clearly had a profound effect on him.
Kimmel, in tears throughout the emotional, 13-minute clip, made plenty of jokes to bring some levity to the situation (“even that son of a bitch Matt Damon sent flowers”), he also used the experience to make a larger point about the current state of health care in the United States. In particular, he cited President Donald Trump’s recent proposed cuts to the National Institute of Health.
“We were brought up to believe that we live in the greatest country in the world,” Kimmel said. “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’s a good chance you’d never be able to get health insurance, because you had a preexisting condition.”
In a refreshing display of empathy, Jimmy Kimmel took a moment to step outside of his own nightmare and became overwhelmingly aware that way too many children would've died in his situation because their parents can't afford medical treatment through America's fucked-up and greed-based health care system.
“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?” he said. “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.” He added, “I saw a lot of families there. And no parent should ever have to decide if they can afford to save their child’s life. It just shouldn’t happen. Not here.”
I'm not one to gush over celebrities, but it's hard not to commend Jimmy Kimmel for examining his own privilege and feeling compelled to very publicly say that it is an absolute travesty that his child should live while yours dies simply because of his bank account. He could've gone on with his life content that his infant son survived a harrowing ordeal and not have said a word. But he chose to take a stand, and that's no small thing.
In the meantime, while Jimmy Kimmel attempted to keep his passionate plea bipartisan, make no mistake Republicans are actively working to kill Obamacare for the sole purpose of providing tax breaks for the rich while calling themselves the "pro-life party" without a shred of irony.
On an anecdotal level, I've personally talked with evangelical voters who pulled the lever for Trump because they're angry that their healthcare premiums are paying for "people who don't want to work," which for the record, is not what Obamacare does. Not to mention, these followers of Christ are opposed to providing care to the sick and the poor because it would cause them a loss in material wealth. I'm no theological scholar, but I'm pretty sure that flies in the face of Jesus' whole deal.
Jesus told him, "If you want to be perfect, go and sell all your possessions and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me."
Wow, what a commie.
Anyway, here's the whole clip if you want to watch. But if you're like me and have kids, you'll tap out so you're not sitting in front of your laptop crying like a baby. Because, at the end of the day - even with Obamacare, which saved my family's ass - one major medical issue could still be goddamn catastrophic.
To echo Jimmy Kimmel, it just shouldn’t happen. Not here.