Last week, Jimmy Kimmel reduced millions to tears with a harrowing story about his newborn son, William John Kimmel, who had to receive an open-heart surgery mere hours after his birth. The late-night host used his emotional monologue to make a case against President Donald Trump’s plan to repeal and replace Obamacare — a move that would leave scores of Americans without health insurance.
However, not only did Kimmel’s heartfelt story failed to move the Republicans, it also prompted some conservative media outlets to label him as a “Hollywood elitist” simply because he talked about pre-existing conditions that Trumpcare, passed last week by the House, refuses to cover.
Even White House press secretary Sean Spicer and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich made headlines for exploiting Kimmel’s health care appeal.
However, the “Jimmy Kimmel Live” host, who had been on a break for a week, returned on air to update viewers about the health of his son, who is thankfully doing fine, and slam his “sick and sad” critics.
“One week ago tonight, I made an emotional speech that was seen by millions and as a result of my powerful words, Republicans in Congress had second thoughts about repeal and replace, they realized that what is right is right — and I saved health insurance in America!” Kimmel began, sarcasm dripping from his voice. “Oh, I didn’t? They voted against it anyway? I really need to pay more attention to the news.”
That was just the beginning of a brutal yet extremely honest takedown.
“I would like to apologize for saying children in America should have health care,” he continued. “It was insensitive, it was offensive, and I hope you can find it in your heart to forgive me.”
Kimmel also called Gingrich out, who reportedly said, “The problem you have with humor in America today is that Hollywood is so enraged at Donald Trump that they can’t be funny” and then added, “Doctors do everything [they] can to save the baby” as if that were the point the late night host was trying to make.
“Yes, it is true that if you have an emergency, they will do an operation, and that’s terrific if your baby’s health problems are all solved during that one visit. The only problem is that never, ever happens,” Kimmel said during his latest monologue. “We’ve had a dozen doctor’s appointments since our son had surgery. You have a cardiologist, a pediatrician, the surgeons, some kids need an ambulance to transport them, and that doesn’t even count parents who have to miss work for all this stuff.
"Those details, Newt forgot to mention. I don’t know if the double layers of Spanx are restricting the blood flow to his brain. And not only is Newt Gingrich an expert on sick babies, it turns out he also knows a thing or two about the late night comedy business.”
As for the fact that he was repeatedly called “an out-of-touch Hollywood elitist” after opening up about his son’s condition, Kimmel recalled how, as a kid, he used to drink powdered milk because his family couldn’t afford the liquid variety and how his orange juice came frozen out of a can. He also recalled his father used to smuggle their dog it into the motel room to avoid paying a $2 pet fee.
“So after that, my dream was to become an out-of-touch Hollywood elitist,” he added. “And I guess it came true.”
The segment also featured Republican Sen. Bill Cassidy of Louisiana, who recently invoked Kimmel’s name when an interviewer asked if he would support a bill allowing states to eliminate lifetime caps on insurance payouts.
“I ask does it pass the Jimmy Kimmel test,” Cassidy said at the time. “Would the child born with a congenital heart disease be able to get everything she or he would need in that first year of life … even if they go over a certain amount?”
Senate must fulfill #KimmelTest. Cover for pre-existing conditions, adequate coverage. But in a fiscally conservative way that lowers cost.— Bill Cassidy (@BillCassidy) May 6, 2017
Since Kimmel held both the Republicans and Democrats responsible for the health care disaster, Cassidy probably thought it was going to be a nice interview where he could talk about having an “American plan” instead of one associated only with one side of the aisle, but Kimmel didn’t look much impressed.
“Senator, since you mention this test, since I am Jimmy Kimmel, I’d like to make a suggestion as to what the Jimmy Kimmel test should be,” the host remarked. “I’ll keep it simple. The Jimmy Kimmel test, I think, should be ‘No family should be denied medical care, emergency or otherwise, because they can’t afford it.’ Can that be the Jimmy Kimmel test?”
Cassidy then delved into the usual “we can’t afford things” rant, but Kimmel was not holding back.
“Well, I can think of a way to pay for it: Don’t give a huge tax cut to millionaires like me, and instead leave it how it is. That’s my vote,” he told him, drawing much applause from the audience.
Since the American Health Care Act is yet to pass Senate, Kimmel hoped “common sense will prevail,” but seeing the way things have been going so far, the chances of that happening look pretty slim.
Watch the complete monologue in the video above.