Jimmy Kimmel returned to his eponymous late-night talk show Monday night (Dec. 11) with son Billy in tow to provide an update on his son’s health, and to once again call on Congress to fully fund the Children’s Health Insurance Program.
Kimmel was absent from the show last week because Billy, who was born with congenital heart disease, had his latest surgery. Showing Billy to the crowd, Kimmel explained, “But look, he’s fine everybody, he may have pooped, but he’s fine.”
Thanking his guest hosts who took over the show last week — Chris Pratt, Tracee Ellis Ross, Neil Patrick Harris and Melissa McCarthy — a visibly emotional Kimmel joked, “Daddy cries on TV but Billy doesn’t. It’s unbelievable.” He then thanked the doctors and nurses at Children’s Hospital in Los Angeles who “treated Billy — and not just Billy, [but] many kids, with so much caring and compassion — children from every income level, whose health is especially threatened right now because of something you probably never heard of. It’s called CHIP.”
Kimmel explained that CHIP, or the Children’s Health Insurance Program, covers about nine million American kids “whose parents make too much money to qualify for Medicaid, but don’t have access to affordable coverage through their jobs, which means it almost certainly covers children you know.”
“This program is literally life and death for American kids, and has always had bipartisan support. But this year, Congress let the money for it expire while they work on getting tax cuts for their millionaire and billionaire donors,” he said. Kimmel, who said he’s “had enough of this,” said he doesn’t know “what could be more disgusting than putting a tax cut that mostly goes to the rich people ahead of the lives of children.”
“If these were potato chips they were taking away from us, we would be marching on Washington with pitchforks and spears right now,” Kimmel joked. He ended the monologue with a personal plea for people to call their representatives in Congress to urge them to fund CHIP. “So once again, I’m asking you — Billy’s asking you — to make two phone calls you shouldn’t have to make.”
This isn’t the first time Kimmel has gotten involved in the politics of health care. He famously called out Senator Bill Cassidy over his and Sen. Lindsay Graham’s attempts to reform the Affordable Care Act in September.
Watch the clip below.
This article first appeared on THR.com.