I want to thank Jimmy Kimmel. He’s taken his adversity and used his celebrity to fight for a good cause. For those of you who don’t know, his son was born earlier this year with a heart defect. Here is a video of his description of it on his late night show. If you haven’t seen it, it’s totally worth your time:
Jimmy Kimmel experienced what all parents of chronically ill children experience, and in the same order.
First, he felt terrified and helpless. He cried as he spoke about the discovery of his son’s problem, of the filling up of the room with people who looked concerned, and of the explanation that his son needed life saving surgery, at another hospital. He alone bore the burden of this news because his wife was recovering from birth, he alone had to consent to the treatment.
Second, he felt intense gratitude. Gratitude to the nurses and doctors who saved his child’s life. Gratitude to the hospitals. Gratitude to people who sent cards and gifts. It is an exhausting, overwhelming gratitude knowing you can never repay them.
Third, he realized that other children suffer the same illness, or something similar, and he felt incredible empathy and protectiveness for those children. He realized that children will lose their healthcare if the Affordable Care Act is repealed. He went on national TV in support of keeping the protections in place for children. Lots and lots of parents have used their voices to support the Affordable Care Act, including me, to protect their chronically ill children. But Mr. Kimmel has a much larger platform.
This became known as the “Jimmy Kimmel Test”, whether or not a new health care bill would allow children to get the surgery they need even if they can’t afford it.
Last night, Mr. Kimmel slammed Senator Bill Cassidy, co-sponsor of the Graham-Cassidy Bill, which eliminates all of those protections. Senator Cassidy came onto his show that said the new bill would pass the “Jimmy Kimmel Test”, and Mr. Kimmel called him a liar, on national TV. Take a look:
Real children are in danger. Children like mine. Children like Jimmy’s.
This Graham-Cassidy Bill is terrible. And we have to fight back. But I feel like I have been yelling into the void on behalf of my daughter. Parents are exhausted and we are wondering if we are making a difference at all. So here is what I propose: Let’s use Jimmy Kimmel’s celebrity. We feel the same way.
I am Jimmy Kimmel. So, let’s light up the internet with a new hashtag. Let’s change our facebook profile pictures.
Let’s change the conversation on Health Care for our kids.
Ps: Mr. Kimmel, if you get the chance to read this, thank you from the bottom of my heart for fighting for my kid.