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An Emotive Kimmel Uses Baby Son, Fresh from Heart Surgery, as Prop to Pitch Gov’t Health Care

‘This is literally a life-and-death program for American kids’
By Grabien Staff

Jimmy Kimmel returned to his show Monday night from a week-long absence, during which his seven-month-old boy had heart surgery, and brought his son out during the monologue to use for a pitch for government-run health care. 

Much like his politically-charged shows two months ago, during which Kimmel cried on air while calling on his audience to pepper Congress with opposition to the Graham-Cassidy health care bill, the ABC host once again wept Monday night.

"Daddy cries on TV, but Billy doesn’t," Kimmel said while holding his child. "It’s unbelievable."

Kimmel asked his audience to call Congress to demand funding for the Children's Health Insurance Program (or CHIP), a program Hillary Clinton helped launch after the failure of the comprehensive health care overhaul she oversaw in 1993. The program provides insurance for children in middle-income families. 

The host said Republicans are prioritizing tax cuts for "millionaires and billionaires" over "literally a life-and-death program for American kids."

"Now CHIP has become a bargaining chip," Kimmel told his audience. "It’s an the back burner while they work out the new tax plans. Which means, children of parents with cancer, and diabetes, and heart problems are about to get letters saying their coverage could be cut off next month. Merry Christmas, right?"

"So this happened because Congress, about 72 days ago, failed to approve funding for CHIP since the first time it was created two decades ago," he continued. "This is literally a life-and-death program for American kids. It’s always had bipartisan support. But this year they let the money for it expire while they work on getting tax cuts for their millionaire and billionaire donors. And, imagine getting that letter, literally not knowing how you will afford to save your child’s life. It's not a hypothetical. About two million CHIP kids have serious chronic conditions. 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."

During his monologue, Kimmel once again displayed phone numbers for Congress, and related websites, in order to rally support for CHIP.

Kimmel also used his show to make a pitch for Americans to sign up for ObamaCare.

"I also want to remind everyone, Friday is the last day to enroll in the Affordable Health Care Plan," Kimmel said. "In spite of President Trump's efforts to sweet it under his rug, ObamaCare is not dead. It's very much alive. Millions of people qualify for a reduced rate or even totally free plans. If you don’t have health insurance, go to healthcare.com and get it. You have to do it by December 15th. By the way, if you don’t do it, you’ll pay a penalty of at least $695 next year if you don’t have insurance. So do it. Right, Billy? Do it." 

Here's a transcript of his monologue:

KIMMEL: "Well, hi, I’m Jimmy. And this is Billy. I was out last week because this guy had heart surgery. But look, he’s fine, everybody."
[Cheers and applause]
KIMMEL: "He may have pooped, but he’s fine. I want to thank Chris Pratt and Tracee Ellis Ross and Neil Patrick Harris and Melissa McCarthy for filling in for us last week. They each gave a full day of their busy lives to give me time off and I’m grateful to them for doing that. And daddy cries on TV, but Billy doesn’t. It’s unbelievable."
[Laughter & Applause]
KIMMEL: "And we also want to thank the very bright and talented doctors and nurses at Children’s Hospital for — who treated Billy, and not just Billy, but many kids with so much caring and compassion. Children from every income level whose health is especially threatened right now because of something you’ve never heard of, it’s called CHIP. 

"CHIP is the 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. About one in eight children are covered only by CHIP. And it’s not controversial. It’s not a partisan thing. In fact, the last time funding for CHIP was authorized was in 2015, and it passed with a vote of 392-337 [sic] in the House and 92-8 in the Senate. Overwhelmingly Democrats and Republicans supported it until now. 

Now CHIP has become a bargaining chip. It’s an the back burner while they work out the new tax plans. Which means, children of parents with cancer, and diabetes, and heart problems are about to get letters saying their coverage could be cut off next month. Merry Christmas, right? 

So this happened because Congress, about 72 days ago, failed to approve funding for CHIP since the first time it was created two decades ago. This is literally a life-and-death program for American kids. It’s always had bipartisan support. But this year they let the money for it expire while they work on getting tax cuts for their millionaire and billionaire donors. And, imagine getting that letter, literally not knowing how you will afford to save your child’s life. It's not a hypothetical. About two million CHIP kids have serious chronic conditions. I’ve in 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. Why hasn’t CHIP been funded already? 

If these were potato chips they were taking away from us, we would be marching on Washington with pitchforks and spears right now. So once again I'm asking you, Billy's asking you, to make two phone calls you shouldn't have to make. Jam the House and Senate phones tonight, tomorrow. Tell them to take a break from tax funds and fully fund CHIP immediately. Call your representatives in the House and Senate at this number. Leave messages for both of them. Don't let them keep pushing it off. Leave messages for both of them. Don't let them keep pushing it off. They need to fund CHIP now. And I also want to remind everyone, Friday is the last day to enroll in the Affordable Health Care Plan. In spite of President Trump's efforts to sweet it under his rug, ObamaCare is not dead. It's very much alive. Millions of people qualify for a reduced rate or even totally free plans. If you don’t have health insurance, go to healthcare.com and get it. You have to do it by December 15th. By the way, if you don’t do it, you’ll pay a penalty of at least $695 next year if you don’t have insurance. So do it. Right, Billy? Do it. Billy is doing great, by the way. He has one more surgery."
[Cheers & applause]
KIMMEL: "And this is amazing. He had an operation a week ago. They say he’s probably on track to win at least a bronze medal in the Olympics in 2036. By the way, Guillermo, you want to come take Billy from me?"
RODRIGUEZ: "Yes, sir."
KIMMEL: "Okay. It’s starting to get a little — and change him, too, while you’re at it. Don’t get him under the arms. Remember, back to front. Okay? All right. There you go. Like two babies."
[Cheers & applause]

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