Jimmy Kimmel just made the most effective case against President Donald Trump’s health care agenda.
The “Jimmy Kimmel Live” host could hardly hold back his tears as he took the stage to talk about his newborn son, William John Kimmel, and the horror he and his family had to go through after doctors discovered the infant was born with a dangerous heart condition.
“I have a story to tell about something that happened to our family last week,” the late-night host began his emotional monologue. “Before I go into it, I want you to know it has a happy ending.”
Perhaps it was his assurance of a happy ending that made the audience, and those watching at home, get through the 13 minutes of heartbreak and pain, because what Kimmel described next was truly every new parent’s worst nightmare.
As a teary-eyed Kimmel explained, three hours after his wife, Molly, gave birth to William, or Billy for short, an attentive nurse noticed his heart murmur and the changing color of his skin. After the hospital transferred the child to intensive care unit, the new father found out the infant suffered from tetralogy of Fallot with pulmonary atresia.
"The room started to fill up. More doctors, nurses, and equipment started coming in and they determined that he wasn’t getting enough oxygen into his blood," Kimmel recalled. "It’s a terrifying thing."
The parents then brought Billy to Cedars-Sinai to Children’s Hospital in Los Angeles for first of several open-heart surgeries he will need over the next few years of his life.
Thankfully, the newborn is doing better now, but Kimmel used his own harrowing experience to make a significant point about the current American health care system Trump is trying to upend.
He also talked about the new administration’s proposed $6 million budget cuts to the National Institutes of Health.
“Thank God our congressmen made a deal last night to not go along with that,” the host added, referring to the fact that lawmakers were able to increase funding by $2 billion. “And I applaud them for doing that.”
Kimmel, who is one of the wealthiest celebrities in Hollywood, was choking up when he said how a child might lose his life due to pre-existing condition if their parents did not have health insurance.
“We were brought up to believe that we live in the greatest country in the world,” Kimmel continued. “But 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 pre-existing condition.”
He added that if someone’s baby is going to die, it should not matter how much money they make.
“I think that’s something that whether you’re a Republican or a Democrat or something else, we all agree on that, right?” he commented. “We need to make sure that the people who represent us, and people are meeting about this right now in Washington, understand that very clearly. Let’s stop with the nonsense. This isn’t football. There are no teams. We are the team. It’s the United States. Don’t let their partisan squabbles divide us on something every decent person wants.”
The incredibly poignant monologue, which is unfortunately something many parents might relate to, was the perfect example of how much Americans would suffer if Trump manages to repeal Obamacare, leaving millions without insurance.
“We need to take care of each other,” Kimmel concluded, fighting back tears. “No parent should ever have to decide if they can afford to save their child’s life. It just shouldn’t happen. Not here.”
on behalf of my family, thank you for the lovely and loving tweets about our son Billy and for your donations to https://t.co/HOIUvNt8WE XO— Jimmy Kimmel (@jimmykimmel) May 2, 2017
Watch the complete video above.
Banner and thumbnail credit: Reuters, Joshua Roberts