Last night, Jimmy Kimmel hosted a special late night show, his first since the birth of his new son, Billy. Kimmel recounted how a nurse at the hospital saw the baby turn purple, and the story of identifying the congenital heart defect, and the amazing efforts that led to a successful surgery.
The whole monologue is emotional and touching and worth watching:
What’s more impressive is that he made a point not just to be thankful for the nurses and doctors who provided him personal assistance, but for the policies and systems that allow others perhaps not as fortunate to get similar attention as well–and he had a message for Congress:
“I want to say one other thing. President Trump last month proposed a 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 for $2 billion, and I applaud them for doing that…
“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’s a good chance you’d never be able to get health insurance, because you had a pre-existing condition. You were born with a pre-existing condition, and if your parents didn’t have insurance, he added, “You may not even live long enough to get denied because of your pre-existing 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 that whether you’re a Republican or a Democrat or something else, we all agree on that, right?..
“Whatever your party, whatever you believe, whoever you support, 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.”
“We need to take care of each other. I saw a lot of families there… No parent should ever have to decide if they can afford to save their child’s life. It just shouldn’t happen. Not here.”
We couldn’t ask for a more moving plea to oppose the pending American Health Care Act to rollback health coverage and consumer protections. We urge people to watch the video, and then call Congress: 1-866-426-2631
At Health Access, we’ve heard from hundreds if not thousands of Californians and their experiences with the health system–we have them in a “Share Your Story” database to help inform our advocacy–to defend what works, and fix what doesn’t. We also help people tell their story to be their own advocates with policymakers and the press, to make positive change for themselves and others. Not everyone has the platform of a late night talk show, but we all can tell our story–to great impact.