A week after heart surgery, little Billy looked perfectly content as dad Jimmy Kimmel brought him on stage. But the comedian got choked up talking about his son’s recovery and the importance of the Children’s Health Insurance Program, which Congress has not refunded.
Choking back tears, Jimmy Kimmel brought his adorable, nearly eight-month-old son, Billy, out on stage last night (December 11). While the baby seemed poker-faced, the sensitive late-night comedian was anything but.
“Daddy cries on TV, but Billy doesn’t,” joked Kimmel, as he explained that he was absent last week from the show because Billy was having another heart surgery at Children’s Hospital in Los Angeles, to help repair a congenital heart defect. The little guy was diagnosed with multiple heart defects just a few hours after he was born and had to undergo the first of many heart surgeries he will need during his lifetime.
Jimmy Kimmel’s monologue about his baby’s heart condition is heartbreaking
Kimmel was obviously so proud of his dapper-dressed son—who, by the way, seemed totally unfazed by the audience, the applause, and all the excitement. Thankfully, the surgery went perfectly: “He’s fine everybody! He may have pooped, but he’s fine. In fact, the doctors say he’s on track to win a bronze.”
Since Billy’s first surgery, Kimmel has become a vocal advocate for affordable healthcare and last night he went on to make a passionate plea for viewers to show support for CHIP—the Children’s Health Insurance Program, which the United States Congress allowed to expire back in October, without securing additional funding.
“CHIP has become a bargaining chip,” Kimmel explained of the insurance program that has been basically put on the back burner while legislators work on the proposed tax bill. “But CHIP covers nine million American kids whose parents make too much to qualify for Medicaid, but can’t get affordable health care coverage through their jobs. One in eight kids are covered, only by CHIP,” explained Kimmel. “And while it’s never been much of a partisan issue—funding for it has typically passed by wide margins—under the Trump administration, that’s all changed.”
It’s just absurd, said the celebrity dad. “If these were potato chips they were thinking of taking away, we’d be marching in Washington with pitchforks and spears.” Instead, lawmakers are putting rich people (and proposed tax cuts for them) ahead of the lives of kids, he says, not to mention the two million children who have chronic conditions like cancer, diabetes or heart problems and who desperately need this coverage.
Bravo to Kimmel for standing up for every kid who needs CHIP! And we are so happy to see that adorable Billy is doing so well.