Jimmy Kimmel Holds His Son In Emotional Plea For Child Health Care

The host used his show and influence to ask Americans to rally behind a government-backed child health care program that may soon expire for good.

Jimmy Kimmel has, once again, discussed the importance of child health care on his show by using his son’s own experience.

During his Monday night “Jimmy Kimmel Live” show, the host brought his 7-month-old son, Billy, to the stage. Kimmel had been absent from the late night show last week as he cared for Billy while the child underwent his second heart surgery meant to help him with the congenital heart disease he has suffered from birth.

With his son in his arms, the host then went on to discuss the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), which offers money to families with children whose incomes are low, but not low enough to qualify for Medicaid.

Since Congress failed to secure funding for CHIP, about 9 million children across the country may lose coverage, The Washington Post reports. Kimmel encouraged his viewers to pressure lawmakers to reconsider this change, using his popular TV show to reach as many people as possible.

“Overwhelmingly, Democrats and Republicans supported it until now,” Kimmel told his viewers. “Now, CHIP has become a bargaining chip. It’s on the back-burner while [Congress works] out their new tax plans, which 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?”

Speaking to his audience’s hearts, the host went on to make the case that, if CHIP were to be defunded now, “2 million CHIP kids [with] serious chronic conditions” would suffer.

“If these were potato chips they were taking away from us, we would be marching on Washington with pitchforks and spears right now,” the host then elaborated.

Thanks to the awareness raised by Kimmel, we’re all now talking about this program and the consequences of its possible shutdown. Hopefully, the pressure will continue to build up so that members of Congress are led to act promptly to keep the program intact.

If you want to get involved just like Kimmel has suggested, you should contact the Senator that represents your state by visiting this updated list and leave them a message of support for CHIP and the help it provides to families with children.

Banner / Thumbnail : Reuters, Lucy Nicholson

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