Jimmy Kimmel’s son is getting healthy, but the late night show host isn’t giving up the fight.
On Monday, his first night back on air after a weeklong paternity leave, Kimmel spoke again about the importance of health care.
“One week ago tonight, I made an emotional speech that was seen by millions, and as a result of my powerful words, Republicans in Congress had second thoughts about repeal and replace, they realized that what is right is right – and I saved health insurance in the United States of America! Oh, I didn’t? They voted against it anyway? I really need to pay more attention to the news,” Kimmel joked in his opening monologue.
The show host also reassured viewers that son Billy is doing well after open-heart surgery and thanked those who reached out.
“What a humbling outpouring of support. So many people made donations to (Children’s Hospital Los Angeles) and my wife and I are very grateful,” he said. “Our plan is to send a card to everyone who made a donation and there were a lot, so you may get those at Christmas time.”
Kimmel also addressed his critics.
“I can’t even count the number of times I’ve been called an ‘out-of -touch Hollywood elitist creep’ this week. Which, I have to say, I kind of appreciate because, when I was a kid, we had to drink powdered milk because we couldn’t afford the liquid variety. Our orange juice came frozen out of a can, it would squeeze out,” he said.
“My father, on the rare occasion we took a family trip, would hide our dog in the car and then smuggle it into the motel room to avoid paying a $ 2 pet fee. So after that, my dream was to become an out-of-touch Hollywood elitist. And I guess it came true,” he said.
In the days after Kimmel’s heartbreaking revelation, Louisiana Republican Senator Bill Cassidy dubbed the “Jimmy Kimmel test.”
“Would the child born with a congenital heart disease be able to get everything she or he would need in that first year of life … even if they go over a certain amount?” he said on CNN when asked if he would “support a bill that allows insurance companies to cap their payouts to customers.”
On “Jimmy Kimmel Live” Monday night, Cassidy said he wants to lower family premiums, which can often reach as high as $ 40,000.
“A middle class family can’t afford that,” the senator said.
“We have to lower those premiums so that if another child is born, she can get the care she needs, not just in her first year but every year thereafter.”
He also insisted that the Senate is working on a health care program that works for both patients and taxpayers.
Kimmel, however, had a suggestion for the Jimmy Kimmel test: “no family should be denied medical care, emergency or otherwise, because they can’t afford it.”
Amid Cassidy’s objections that such a plan would be too difficult to pay for, the late night host had a simple solution.
“Don’t give a huge tax cut to millionaires like me.”