After a week of guest hosts, Live‘s Jimmy Kimmel took back his show — but he wasn’t alone. Joining him for his monologue was his son Billy. Jimmy showed off just how good his baby boy is after his latest surgery, and made an impassioned plea to Congress to approve funding for the recently expired Children’s Health Insurance Program, which is absolutely vital for millions of sick children to get proper treatment and care..
Kimmel was absent from late night last week because Billy, who was born with congenital heart disease, was having another surgery. “But look, he’s fine, everybody,” he said, holding up his son to the audience. “He may have pooped, but he’s fine.”
— Jimmy Kimmel (@jimmykimmel) December 12, 2017
He thanked those who filled in for him — Chris Pratt, Tracee Ellis Ross, Neil Patrick Harris and Melissa McCarthy — and fought to hold back tears as he joked, “Daddy cries on TV, but Billy doesn’t. It’s unbelievable.” Tough, adorable cookie.
Kimmel then thanked the doctors and nurses at Children’s Hospital in Los Angeles who “treated Billy — and not just Billy, many kids, with so much caring and compassion — children from every income level, whose health is especially threatened right now because of something you probably never heard of. It’s called CHIP.”
Kimmel explained that CHIP (the Children’s Health Insurance Program) covers about nine million American kids “whose parents make too much money to qualify for Medicaid but don’t have access to affordable coverage through their jobs, which means it almost certainly covers children you know.”
He further explained: “This is literally life and death for American kids, and has always had bipartisan support. But this year, [Congress] let the money for it expire while they work on getting tax cuts for their millionaire and billionaire donors.”
Jimmy then went from mad to “disgusted” by this, simply because he doesn’t get how the wealthy are being put “ahead of the lives of children.”
And people couldn’t agree more:
It’s been 73 days since Republicans in Washington let the Children’s Health Insurance Program expire. The millions of families who depend on it will start to see coverage lapse soon.
— Bill de Blasio (@NYCMayor) December 12, 2017
#fundchipnow This is not a partisan issue. 9 million children in the US depend on it. Ripping their health insurance from them for tax cuts is deplorable.
— Erin Barton (@erin_a_barton) December 12, 2017
— Bethany Sarah (@Bethany_Grandy) December 12, 2017
It’s disgusting that congress cares more about tax cuts that mostly go to rich people ahead of the lives of children. Funding for a program that help millions of families with children who have serious health problems should be a priority! Make this right! #FundCHIPNow
— Luis Reyes (@luisreyes3497) December 12, 2017
I want to throw up, the people who don’t approve of this are legitimately killing children by severing them from life and death medical attention.
— Logan A. Biedermann (@BiedermannLogan) December 12, 2017
Powerful. Thank you to @jimmykimmel for sharing your son’s story and for standing up for other children and families. Our representatives have passed #CHIP before in a bipartisan fashion. It is imperative we continue to support this lifesaving program. https://t.co/EvL4VeMnya
— Doug Ulman (@dougulman) December 12, 2017
— Barbara Malmet (@B52Malmet) December 12, 2017
This isn’t the first time Kimmel has weighed in on the politics of health care and, sadly, probably won’t be his last. Will Jimmy’s pleas be enough? Will those who will soon be without the means to help their children be heard? We can hope.