Jimmy Kimmel returned to his late-night show after a week-long absence Monday, where he used his monologue to update his audience on the health of his newborn son and confront those who criticized his widely-watched monologue on the subject during a broadcast last week.
The Jimmy Kimmel Live! host unloaded on Republican lawmakers in his first monologue back Monday, and called on Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-La) to explain why “the vast majority of Republican politicians” are against Americans having health care coverage.
But before that, Kimmel addressed the reaction he received after he made an emotional plea last week for health care coverage for pre-existing conditions, and revealed his newborn son was born with a congenital heart defect and needed open-heart surgery. The late-night host acknowledged one Washington Times headline that read: “Shut up, Jimmy Kimmel, you elitist creep.”
“I cannot count the number of times I’ve been called an ‘out of touch Hollywood elitist creep’ this week,” Kimmel said. “Which, I have to say, I kind of appreciate because when I was a kid we had to drink powdered milk because we couldn’t afford the liquid … My dream was to become an out of touch Hollywood elitist, and I guess it came true.”
“I would like to apologize for saying that children in America should have health care,” he went on, sarcastically. “It was insensitive. It was offensive, and I hope you can find it in your heart to forgive me.”
Next, Kimmel took aim at Newt Gingrich, who criticized the host’s monologue last week when he said that all hospitals in the United States help children before asking for payment.
“Yes, it is true that if you have an emergency, they will do an operation,” Kimmel responded. “And that’s terrific if your baby’s health problems are all solved during that one visit. The only problem is that never, ever happens.”
“We’ve had a dozen doctors appointments since our son had surgery,” he continued. “You’ve got a cardiologist, the pediatrician, surgeon, some kids need an ambulance to transport them. That doesn’t even count the parents who have to miss work for all this stuff. Those details, Newt forgot to mention. I don’t know if the double layers of Spanx are restricting the blood flow to his brain.”
Then the late-night host turned the conversation back to the current legislative push on Capitol Hill.
“So now the bill moves from the House to the Senate, where hopefully some kind of common sense will prevail. One senator, Bill Cassidy from Louisiana, is a Republican who came up with a new barometer for the health care bill that I happen to like a lot,” Kimmel said, referencing Cassidy’s so-called “Jimmy Kimmel test,” that any new health care law should include a provision ensuring that a child’s health care coverage be paid for doing the first year of his life.
“Now, my first question is why are the vast majority of Republican politicians against making sure Americans are truly covered when it comes to health care?” Kimmel said.
“We have to lower those premiums so that if another child is born, that child can get the care he or she needs,” Cassidy told Kimmel.
“I am all about people having the insurance they need,” the senator said while urging viewers to call on their lawmakers to get a health care bill “that passes the Jimmy Kimmel test.”