Last night, late-night comedian Jimmy Kimmel opened his show by tearfully telling a story about his second-born son, Billy. Born on April 21, Billy's health seemed normal until the doctors discovered that he had a heart murmur and was turning purple. Here is what Kimmel said:
My wife was in bed relaxing when a very attentive nurse at Cedars-Sinai hospital … was checking him out and heard a murmur in his heart, which is common with newborn babies, but she also noticed that he was a bit purple, which is not common.
The nurses and the doctors determined that he had a heart defect called tetralogy of Fallot with pulmonary atresia, where the pulmonary valve is completely blocked and the septum dividing the left and right ventricles had holes in it. His son was transported to Children's Hospital in Los Angeles and, in what Kimmel referred to as "the longest three hours of my life," Billy's pulmonary valve was opened up. He is due for another surgery in a few months to correct the holes in his septum, and when he is a teenager, he will need to replace the pulmonary valve.
Kimmel used the platform to thank all of the doctors and nurses who saved his son's life as well as his family and friends who supported him throughout the episode. He also shared pictures and stories of Billy to show that he is now healthier and everything has gone back to normal.
After Kimmel displayed his immense gratitude, he turned the page to discuss President Trump's Obamacare replacement push while calling for universal health care for the United States.
President Trump last month proposed a $6 billion cut in funding to the National Institute of Health, and thank God our congressmen made a deal last night to not go along with that. They actually increased funding by $2 billion, and I applaud them for doing that. Because more than 40 percent of the people who would have been affected by those cuts to the National Institute of Health are children, and it would have a major impact on a lot of great places, including Children's Hospital in Los Angeles, which is so unbelievably sad to me. 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. 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 preexisting condition. You were born with a preexisting condition, and if your parents didn’t have medical insurance, you might not even live long enough to get denied because of a preexisting condition. If your baby is going to die, and it doesn’t have to, it shouldn’t matter how much money you make. I think that’s something now, whether you’re a Republican or Democrat, or something else, we all agree on that, right? I mean, we do. Whatever your party, whatever you believe, whoever you support, we need to make sure that people who are supposed to represent us — and people who 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. We need to care of each other. I saw a lot of families there, and no parent should ever have to decide if they can afford to save their child’s life. It just shouldn’t happen. Not here.
Kimmel's appeal to emotion is completely understandable due to the hardship that he faced with his son. However, the fact remains that Obamacare contributed several problems since it was enacted, including unaffordable premiums and deductibles that make health insurance unavailable to individuals and businesses that the law intended to protect. While there ought to be better systems in place to help those who are undergoing horrible medical conditions, the government's interference in health care has so far only caused more problems than it solved. While the government continues to squabble over the role of government in the industry, it should be up to us as individuals and as a community to look out for one another, instead of relying on the bureaucrats, and look for ways to make health care access easier for those who need it most.
Watch the full monologue here: