Jimmy Kimmel has no regrets about crying on national television.
When the late-night host revealed back in April on “Jimmy Kimmel Live” that his newborn son had undergone surgery for a rare heart defect, it spurred a national conversation about access to health care.
“I knew I had to say something, and I knew that I would get emotional,” Kimmel said in a Hollywood Reporter interview published Thursday. “It occurred to me that maybe we could make it into something positive.”
Kimmel said three-month-old Billy will need two more heart surgeries, but he’s “doing great.”
“We would like to get [the surgeries] over with and not have to think about it all the time, but it could definitely be worse,” Kimmel added.
His emotional 13-minute monologue about Billy’s diagnosis and medical treatment came during heightened political debate over health care policy. It caught the attention of Capitol Hill and former President Obama, who Kimmel said “sent a very nice letter.”
GOP efforts to repeal and replace Obamacare have since failed, but Kimmel knows the debate is far from over.
“I worry that those who oppose Obamacare are going to do everything they can to make sure it doesn’t work.” he said.
President Trump, who has expressed a willingness to “let Obamacare fail,” is “absolutely” welcome to appear on Kimmel’s show to discuss the issue.
“I would like to see, as a father and a person who prides himself on speaking the truth, what he thinks,” he said. “If I were his next-door neighbor and I didn’t have health insurance for my child, I find it hard to believe he would ignore that.”