Jimmy Kimmel shared an emotional video of his son’s health struggles to make a point about preexisting conditions
It seems like this election year has encouraged people with sizable platforms to become more political than they typically do, and Jimmy Kimmel is no exception. While he’s hardly remained ambivalent or quiet about his distaste for all things Trump, he’s being vocal and hoping to appeal to the emotional side of voters this year — and it all has to do with his son, Billy, who was born with a congenital heart defect.
Kimmel paused his show last night to make a point about the status of US healthcare, shedding light on those with preexisting conditions like his son. Under the Affordable Care Act, people with pre-existing conditions are protected, but those protections are currently in jeopardy thanks to the Trump administration.
“The vast majority of this country agrees that health insurance should cover Americans with pre-existing conditions,” says Kimmel. “But the Republican party — and that includes the president and members of Congress — the only plan they have is to do away with protections for pre-existing conditions.”
As many as 82 million Americans have preexisting conditions, and 54 million are currently insured through the ACA. These people will suffer if the ACA is overturned, which the Trump administration is currently trying to do — and is in court right now to ensure that they will. In order to guarantee insurance protection for people with preexisting conditions, a law must be put in place — not an executive order — and the Trump administration refuses to do this.
“My wife Molly made a video that deals with our experience with pre-existing conditions, and we’d like you to watch this and pass it around to anyone who may have forgotten what this election is really about,” he says.
While Billy is insured and his parents have the means to continue his ongoing, life-sustaining care and routine surgeries, Kimmel makes note that many families aren’t nearly as lucky.
The video shows images of Billy in the hospital, prepping for three heart surgeries, and the 60+ doctors’ appointments he’s had to have in just three years. The video urges fans to “vote with your heart.” Kimmel and his wife, Molly McNearny, say they’re raising Billy to fight for less fortunate children who don’t have the same opportunities as he does.
“Before Obamacare health insurance companies were able to refuse coverage for those with pre-existing conditions,” reads the text in the video. “Families go broke trying to keep their loved ones alive. People die because they cannot afford to live.”