Jimmy Kimmel Returns With Plea for "Common Sense" in Health-Care Debate

The late-night host, back from paternity leave, also responds to the media calling him a "Hollywood elitist" for discussing health care.

Jimmy Kimmel returned from paternity leave to his late-night show Monday, welcoming Republican Sen. Bill Cassidy, who joined Kimmel in his passionate plea about health care. 

Before Cassidy called in to talk, Kimmel joked about last week's monologue, according to a transcript obtained by The Hollywood Reporter. "One week ago tonight, I made an emotional speech that was seen by millions, and as a result of my powerful words, Republicans in Congress had second thoughts about repeal and replace, they realized that what is right is right — and I saved health insurance in the United States of America!" he cheered. "Oh, I didn’t? I didn't save it? They voted against it anyway? I really need to pay more attention to the news." 

He also mentioned the online backlash he received for his stance on accessible health care, "including from members of the media." 

Kimmel explained that the New York Post and Washington Times have both called him out as an “out-of-touch Hollywood elitist creep" since his plea for accessible health care. "I would like to apologize for saying that children in America should have health care," he sarcastically told his audience. "That was insensitive — it was offensive, and I hope you can find it in your heart to forgive me."

"So now the health care bill moves from the House to the Senate," he continued, "where hopefully, some kind of common sense will prevail."

After New Gingrich commented on Fox News that late night "can't be funny anymore" because they're so angry at President Trump, Kimmel responded to that as well. "Gee, I wonder why we're so angry. It might have something to do with, I don't know, you?" 

He also assured viewers that his son Billy is doing well, and thanked everyone for their support. "What a humbling outpouring of support. So many people made donations to CHLA and my wife and I are very grateful," Kimmel said. "Our plan is to send a card to everyone who made a donation and there were a lot, so you might be getting those at Christmas time."

Last week, Kimmel opened up during an emotional monologue about his newborn son, Billy, who had to undergo open-heart surgery when he was just three days old. After telling his son's story on-air, encouraging people to donate to Children's Hospital, he urged people and politicians to take stories like Billy's into consideration when thinking about health care. 

“If your baby is going to die, and it doesn’t have to, it should not matter how much money you make,” said Kimmel during his monologue, referring to pre-existing conditions that could lead people to pay more or lose out on health care under President Trump's new plan. 

Since Kimmel's emotional plea, the House of Representatives has passed legislation to repeal and replace large parts of the Affordable Care Act. 

Sen. Cassidy has used this story as a sort of rallying cry for health care, demanding that any new health care bill pass the "Kimmel test," which means that if a child is born with health problems, they should be able to get the care they need no matter their family's financial situation. Cassidy has been touting his own plan, which was formed with Sen. Susan Collins of Maine. 

Cassidy joined Kimmel on Monday's show to talk about health care and the "Kimmel test."

"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."

Cassidy also encouraged viewers to call their senators to get a health care bill "that passes the Jimmy Kimmel test." 

Kimmel urged the senator to further define the Kimmel test: "No family should be denied medical care, emergency or otherwise, because they can't afford it." 

Watch the segment below. 

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