If you're a fan of late-night television, then you know already that Jimmy Kimmel has had a particularly challenging year. His son Billy was born in April of this year with a rare congenital heart defect. Since Billy's birth, Kimmel has spoken candidly multiple times about the state of healthcare in the U.S. This month, Billy went through a second heart surgery — and it went great! To celebrate Billy's successful surgery — and to shed additional light on the importance of children's healthcare and medical insurance — Jimmy Kimmel brought little Billy onto the set of Jimmy Kimmel Live!
William "Billy" Kimmel was born on April 21, 2017. Here's Jimmy Kimmel talking about the harrowing experience of learning that Billy had a heart defect:
Three hours after Billy was born, a doctor noticed that his color wasn’t quite right. It was soon discovered that he had been born with a congenital heart defect known as tetralogy of Fallot (TOF) with pulmonary atresia. At three days old, Billy had his first surgery.
When he went back to his show, Kimmel tearfully pleaded with politicians on both sides of the aisle to ensure that other children like Billy would have access to the healthcare they need, saying, “If your baby is going to die, and it doesn’t have to, it should not matter how much money you make. I saw a lot of families there. And no parent should ever have to decide if they can afford to save their child’s life. It just shouldn’t happen. Not here.”
Kimmel continued to use Billy's story as a way to provide people with some perspective of the importance of healthcare reform. First, he took on Bill Cassidy's repeal and replace healthcare bill.
Little Billy even helped him craft his opening monologue.
That is one talented (and very adorable) baby!
Here's Kimmel's monologue attacking Senator Bill Cassidy for going back on his word:
Cassidy had said he would only support a healthcare bill that would take care of kids (like Billy) whose parents make too much money to qualify for Medicaid but still need hundreds of thousands of dollars’ worth of care.
Happily, Cassidy’s healthcare bill was not passed by Congress.
Fast forward to this week, when Kimmel was absent from his show while Billy underwent his second heart surgery.
He had several guest hosts cover for him during his absence, including Melissa McCarthy, Chris Pratt, Neil Patrick Harris, and Tracee Ellis Ross.
But last night, Kimmel finally returned to the show — and he brought a very special guest with him.