Of all of Jimmy Kimmel’s tearful monologues, the one he delivered on Monday was the most gut-wrenching. The late night host explained that after his wife gave birth to a baby boy recently, a nurse noticed that something wasn’t right.
As it turned out, Kimmel’s new son William had a serious heart condition that required multiple open heart surgeries to correct. As Kimmel recounted the harrowing details and thanked the many doctors and nurses who helped save his son’s life, he tried his best to stay composed while tossing in a joke wherever he could.
“We had atheists praying for us, O.K.?” he said. “And I hate to say it — even that son of a bitch Matt Damon sent flowers.”
While Kimmel worked through his trauma in front of a national audience, we couldn’t help but get the sense that he was working towards something bigger. Then, at about the 10 minute mark, Kimmel turned the lens from himself, and onto the American health care system at large.
Kimmel took particular umbrage with Donald Trump’s decision to cut $6 billion in funding to the National Institute of Health. He also pointed out thatmembers of congress rebuffed Trump’s proposal, and instead injected an additional $2 billion in funding.
“We were brought up to believe that we live in the greatest country in the world,” Kimmel said. “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.”
Kimmel explained that the worth of a baby’s life shouldn’t be determined by how much money its parents make, and that politics can’t play a role in deciding the value of a human life. “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,“ he said. "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,” Kimmel added. “No parent should ever have to decide if they can afford to save their child’s life. It just shouldn’t happen. Not here.”