On Monday, late-night TV host Jimmy Kimmel opened his show with a personal anecdote.
Before he got into his “scary story,” he informed the audience that it does have a “happy ending.”
On April 21, Kimmel's wife, Molly McNearney, gave birth to what appeared to be a healthy baby boy, whom the couple named William “Billy” Kimmel.
Then, three hours later, everything changed. Kimmel choked back tears as he recounted the moment the nurse noticed something was wrong.
While he claimed it was “normal” for babies to have heart murmurs, she noticed the newborn was “a bit purple,” which was not common. He told the audience:
“[The doctors] determined he wasn't getting enough oxygen in his blood ... either in his heart or lungs. ... They did an X-ray, and his lungs were fine, which meant his heart wasn't ... It's a terrifying thing.”
Doctors discovered that Billy was born with a heart disease, and Kimmel's hours-old son was rushed to Children's Hospital Los Angeles (CHLA), where he had open heart surgery.
According to Kimmel, his son will have another surgery in three or four months and a third one when he's older.
Fortunately, six days after the surgery, the couple brought him home, and now “he's doing all the things that he's supposed to do.”
Despite being terrifying, the experience seemed to have had an impact on his view toward health care.
The debate rages on as people argue as to what qualifies as “affordable” and who should bear the financial burden.
However, Kimmel highlighted a way that Americans can already help provide care for those who require assistance.
CHLA, where his son was treated, is one of various children's hospitals in the United States that hopes to alleviate financial burdens of families with sick children.
According to the website, the hospital offers discounted and full-coverage programs for families that qualify for financial assistance.
These programs are made possible because of corporate and private donations, which is what Kimmel urged his viewers to do.
He noted that Costco sponsored the floor they were on, and he thanked every company that donates to CHLA for making discounted and free health care possible. He described the incredible place CHLA is:
“I hope you never have to go there. but if you do, you'll see so many kids from so many financial backgrounds being cared for so well and with so much compassion.”
St. Jude is also a nonprofit hospital that relies heavily on donations, and not one of their patients leaves the hospital with a bill.
Making a donation to these various organizations is a small way that every single American who believes in affordable coverage can help make a difference.
Still, it's unrealistic to believe that hospitals nationwide can provide life-saving care to every child that is treated while operating solely on donations. So the impending health care reform remains an important issue.
Along with CHLA, Kimmel credited Obamacare for revamping the health care system so that his son, who has a pre-existing condition, can be insured in the future.
That's something that President Donald Trump has repeatedly confirmed will remain intact even if Obamacare is repealed and replaced.
The multifaceted health care debate has largely divided the two sides of the aisle, but according to Kimmel, there's at least one notion that both Republicans and Democrats can agree on:
“If your baby is going to die and it doesn't have to, it shouldn't matter how much money you make.”
He reiterated that this isn't about partisan politics and that it's time to “stop with the nonsense” because there aren't separate teams. He claimed there's only one team — the United States of America.
Kimmel's segment ended on a powerful note about health care for America's youth. He said that “no parent should have to decide if they can afford to save their child's life. It just shouldn't happen. Not here.”