Watch: Kimmel Returns to TV With Son Billy After Heart Surgery, Advocates for Child Healthcare Law
On ABC's "Jimmy Kimmel Live" last night, Jimmy Kimmel had a new sidekick on hand for his monologue. "I was out last week because this guy had heart surgery," Kimmel said with his son Billy in his arms. "But look, he's fine, everybody," Reading the apprehensive look on the boy's face, he added, "He may have pooped, but he's fine."
The emotional Kimmel, holding back tears, also noted that "Daddy cries on TV, but Billy doesn't—it's unbelievable."
Back in May Kimmel emerged as one of the most passionate voices on healthcare reform in the wake of his son's birth and an attendant health crisis that saw the newborn undergoing emergency open-heart surgery to repair a life-threatening heart defect. (See: "Jimmy Kimmel Talks About His Newborn Son's Open-Heart Surgery, Entire Internet Tears Up.") Last week's surgery was the second for Billy.
Kimmel used much of his monologue on last night's show to forcefully advocate for the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP), a program that millions of American kids depend on, often for life-saving medical care. Congress recently failed to reauthorize funding for it, with some politicians apparently regarding it as a bargaining chip during the tax-reform debate, as Kimmel noted.
"So parents of children with cancer, diabetes and heart problems are about to get letters saying their coverage could be cut off," Kimmel said. "Merry Christmas, right? Imagine getting that letter, not knowing if you'll be able to afford to save your children's life. This is not a hypothetical—about two million CHIP kids have serious, chronic conditions."
An increasingly angry Kimmel added that "I don't know about you but I've had enough of this. I don't know what could be more disgusting than putting a tax cut that mostly goes to the rich ahead of the lives of children."
Kimmel gave out the main switchboard number for Congress, 202-225-3121, and asked viewers to call their representatives to demand reauthorized funding for CHIP.