Jimmy Kimmel on Health Insurance Troubles of The American People
In his recent show, host Jimmy Kimmel first cried before he started talking. He said: “I have a story to tell about something that happened to our family last week. Before I go into it, I want you to know it has a happy ending.” Then he went on to tell his sad story.
Jimmy Kimmel’s story
On April 21st, 2017, his wife gave birth to a baby boy named William John Kimmel—Billy. At first, everything seemed fine until a nurse called out to Jimmy to tell him she noticed that his baby’s heart had a murmur. Many babies have a murmur, which was not so terrible to start with, but this murmur was different since the baby’s coloring wasn’t right. When the doctors were called in, they found that little Billy had a congenital heart disease, which required immediate surgery. A three-hour open heart surgery took place on the hours-old infant. According to Kimmel, those were the longest three hours of his life.
In his show, Kimmel spent some time thanking the delivery staff of both Cedars-Sinainai Hospital and nurses at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles where the child was admitted after the first signs of serious health problems. Billy isn’t entirely safe now as he’ll need another surgery in a few months when he’s heart is bigger, and one more in his early teens. Still, there is a huge possibility that this child will have no health problems afterward and that he will have a normal life.
The state of health care in the USA
Upon finishing his personal story, Jimmy Kimmel continued with the view of the families and children less fortunate than him. As one of the richest people in America, he can afford any health care for his family, but what about those families who are poor? “President Trump last month proposed a six billion dollar cut in funding to the National Institute of Health, and thank God our congressman didn’t go along with that…More than 40% of the people who would have been affected by those cuts to the National Institute of Health are children.”
The truth is that not only Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles is one of the facilities that would have been impacted. All the children with pre-existing conditions such as pregenital heart disease (like Kimmel’s son) would be denied health care.
“We were brought up to believe that we live in the greatest country in the world,” Kimmel said. “But until a few years ago, millions and millions of us had no access to health insurance at all. You know, before 2014, if you were born with congenital heart disease like my son was, there was a good chance you would never be able to get health insurance because you had a pre-existing condition. And if your parents didn’t have insurance, you may not even live long enough to get denied because of your pre-existing condition.”
Party affiliations don’t matter
Kimmel stated that if a baby is about to die and it doesn’t have to, it shouldn’t be a question of how much money his parents have at their disposal for this purpose. He pointed out that it also shouldn’t matter if the parents are Republicans or Democrats or something else – we should all think the same about this issue.
Whatever party you belong to, Kimmel said, “We need to make sure that the people who represent us, and people are meeting about this right now in Washington, understand that very clearly. Let’s stop with the nonsense. This isn’t football. There are no teams. We are the team. It’s the United States. Don’t let their partisan squabbles divide us on something every decent person wants.”
He added through his tears, “We need to take care of each other. No parent should ever have to decide if they can afford to save their child’s life. It just shouldn’t happen. Not here.”
This 13-minute speech Kimmel has made was probably the most personal, moving and convincing case yet made by a public figure on the matter of the Affordable Care Act intact. And it shouldn’t be the only one. Celebrities, stand for this issue before it is too late!
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