Jimmy Kimmel is returning to late-night television with a special message.
One week after his son had his second open-heart surgery, the Jimmy Kimmel Live! host joined baby Billy on stage for an emotional plea to viewers.
“We want to thank the very bright and talented doctors and nurses at Children’s Hospital who treated Billy and many kids with so much care and compassion—children from every income level whose health is especially threatened right now because of something you probably never heard of,” he shared with the audience while holding back tears. “It’s called CHIP [Children’s Health Insurance Program].”
Jimmy continued, “Parents of children with cancer, diabetes and heart problems are about to get letters saying their coverage could be cut off next month. Merry Christmas, right? 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.”
While holding onto his son, Jimmy asked viewers to call House and Senate phone lines [202-225-3121] this week and demand CHIP funding before it’s too late.
“Imagine getting that letter, not knowing to you’ll be able to afford to save your children’s life,” he explained. “This is not a hypothetical; about 2 million CHIP kids have serious chronic conditions. I don’t know about you but I’ve had enough of this. I don’t know what could be more disgusting than putting a tax cut that mostly goes to the rich ahead of the lives of children.”
Jimmy first announced on his show back in May that he welcomed a baby boy named William John Kimmel with wife Molly McNearney. The parents quickly learned that their child was born with a heart disease that required open heart surgery. Since then, the proud dad has used his late-night show as a platform to spread awareness about health care issues and share the good work being done at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles.
As for baby Billy today. Jimmy said that he is “doing great” and has one more surgery to go.
“They say he’s probably on track to win at least a Bronze medal in the Olympics in 2036,” he shared. “Daddy cries on TV but Billy doesn’t. It’s unbelievable.”
Jimmy Kimmel Live! airs weeknights at 11:35 p.m. on ABC.