Culture

Jimmy Kimmel Apologizes For Daring To Say All Children Should Have Health Care

by Stacey Leasca

May 9, 2017

On May 2, Jimmy Kimmel took time out of his opening monologue on his late-night talk show to share an emotional plea with the American government: Make health care affordable for all. 

The heartfelt appeal came after the birth of Kimmel’s own son, Billy, who was born with a dangerous heart defect. After a life-saving surgery, Kimmel’s son made a perfect recovery, however, the entire ordeal reminded the comedian that not everyone has the same access to care or the same ability to reach deep into their pockets to pay for expensive procedures. 

“If your baby is going to die, and it doesn’t have to, it shouldn’t matter how much money you make,” Kimmel said. “I think that’s something that, whether you’re a Republican or a Democrat or something else, we all agree on that, right? … 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.”

The monologue was met with extreme praise across the internet, with fans, politicians, and even former President Barack Obama thanking Kimmel for his openness and honesty.

However, like most things in life, not everyone agreed on Kimmel’s assessment of the American health care system. Kimmel, after returning from a brief hiatus, once again took time in his show’s opening minutes, to share some of the negative reactions to his plea for health care for all.

The host first shared a few examples of media bias toward his statements, with one headline reading, “Jimmy Kimmel’s obscene lies about kids and medical care,” and another that stated, “Shut up, Jimmy Kimmel, you elitist creep.” 

“I would like to apologize for saying that children in America should have health care. It was insensitive, it was offensive, and I hope you can find it in your heart to forgive me,” Kimmel joked of the headlines. 

Kimmel went on to point out the many instances of politicians inaccurately describing the very health care changes they advocated for, including Newt Gingrich. Kimmel played a clip of the former Speaker of the House telling Fox reporters, “If you show up at a hospital with a brand new baby and the brand new baby has a heart problem, the doctors at that hospital will do everything they can to save the baby. They don’t say, ‘We’ll take care of the baby right after you write a check.’ They try to save the baby’s life, and that’s true across the board in this country.”

Kimmel pointed out that yes, this is sort of true, if you don’t count the dozens of follow-up visits and “the parents who have to miss work for all this stuff. Those details, Newt forgot to mention. I don’t know if the double layers of Spanx are restricting the blood flow to his brain.”

Watch Kimmel’s entire response to the negative headlines, and his interview with Senator Bill Cassidy of Louisiana, below. 

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Jimmy Kimmel Apologizes For Daring To Say All Children Should Have Health Care