On Monday, Jimmy Kimmel returned to his show and he had a bit of company with him.
The late-night comedian emotionally told his audience that the reason why he was absent last week was because his son Billy had another open-heart surgery.
“Daddy cries on TV, but Billy doesn’t,” Kimmel quipped.
After thanking the doctors at Children’s Hospital for treating his son as well as “children from every income level,” he said that their health “is especially threatened” because of CHIP (Children’s Health Insurance Program).
“It covers around 9 million American kids whose parents make too much money to qualify for Medicaid but don’t have access to coverage- affordable coverage through their jobs, which means it almost certainly covers children you know,” Kimmel explained. “About one in eight children are covered only by CHIP. And it’s not controversial. It’s not a partisan thing. The last time funding was authorized was in 2015. It passed with a vote of 392-37 in the House and 92-8 in the Senate. Overwhelmingly, Democrats and Republicans supported it… until now.”
He went on to say that CHIP is being used as a “bargaining chip” during the ongoing tax reform debate, which means that “children of parents with cancer, diabetes and heart problems are about to get letters saying their coverage could be cut off next month.” He slammed Congress for failing to approve funding for the program.
“This is literally a life or death program for American kids,” Kimmel continued. “But this year they let the money for it expire while they work on getting tax cuts for their millionaire and billionaire donors. Imagine getting that letter literally not knowing how you will afford to save your child’s life… I don’t know about you, I’ve had enough of this! I don’t know what could be more disgusting than putting a tax cut that mostly goes to rich people ahead of the lives of children.”
Kimmel insisted if these were “real potato chips,” we would be marching in Washington D.C. with “pitchforks and spears.”
He (and his son) asked his viewers to “jam the House and Senate phones” to “take a break from tax cuts” and “fully fund CHIP immediately.”
Watch the clip above, via ABC.
Have a tip we should know? email@example.com