Photo of Jimmy Kimmel by Randy Holmes
Jimmy Kimmel during his monologue on Monday night detailed a tearful story about his newborn son, while reminding viewers of the non-political realities of healthcare in America.
“I have a story to tell about something that happened to our family last week," he said as he recalled the birth of his son Billy and tried to hold back tears. "I will try not to get emotional. And before I get into it, know that it has a happy ending.”
As Kimmel noted, Billy appeared normal and healthy until hours after his birth, when a nurse noticed the baby was slightly purple and had a heart murmur. At only three days old, during what Kimmel called the "longest three hours of my life," Billy had to undergo open heart surgery at the Children's Hospital Los Angeles.
Baby Billy is now home recovering, but he'll need another procedure in a few months and one more surgery when he is a teenager, according to Kimmel, who explained how unexpected so many healthcare matters are for many families, not just celebrities.
“President Trump last month proposed a $6 billion cut in funding to the National Institute of Health," Kimmel recalled. "And, thank God, our congressmen made a deal last night to not go along with that. They actually increased funding by $2 billion. And I applaud them for doing that. Because more than 40% of the people who would have been affected by those cuts to the National Institutes of Health are children. And it would have a major impact on a lot of great places, including Children’s Hospital in Los Angeles, which is so unbelievably sad to me."
He continued: "Before 2014, if you were born with congenital heart disease—like my son was—there was a good chance you’d never be able to get health insurance because you had a pre-existing condition … If your baby is going to die, and it doesn’t have to, it should not matter how much money you make,” Kimmel said, with tears in his eyes. “I think that’s something, whether you’re Republican or a Democrat—we all agree on that, right?"
Kimmel then concluded: "This isn’t football; there are no teams. We are the team. It’s the United States," he said, spoken with perhaps the clarity of someone who understands that while the details of certain bills may be up for debate, these laws affect real, human lives.
See Kimmel's emotional monologue below.