Jimmy Kimmel pleads for health care reform after near-death scare with son
Late-night talk show host Jimmy Kimmel dropped the funny stuff on Monday to deliver a message to Congress: Please do something about the state of the nation’s health care system.
“We were brought up to believe that we live in the greatest country in the world but, until a few years ago, millions and millions of us had no access to health insurance at all,” he said during a 13-minute monologue on Monday night.
Kimmel said during his emotional show opening that his own experience with the near-death of his recently born son, William, encouraged him to demand change.
“I saw a lot of families there (at the hospital) and no parent should ever have to decide if they can afford to save their child’s life. It just shouldn’t happen,” he said.
On Monday, Congress voted against the wishes of President Donald Trump and gave the National Institutes of Health a $2 billion funding increase.
Kimmel praised the vote and said the country should keep putting people — not politics — first.
“If your baby is going to die and it doesn’t have to, it shouldn’t matter how much money you make,” he said. “I think that’s something — whether you’re a Republican, a Democrat or something else — we all agree on that.”
Kimmel said William was born with a heart murmur, but he didn’t give it a second thought.
“My wife and I assumed it would be nothing,” Kimmel said. “Our daughter had a heart murmur, too.”
But doctors began to suspect within three hours of William’s birth that he was not getting enough oxygen into his blood.
“It’s a terrifying thing,” he recalled. “My wife is back in the recovery room — she has no idea what’s going on — and I’m standing in the middle of a lot of very worried-looking people.”
Doctors were able to fix William’s heart for the time being and he is now home.