Television host Jimmy Kimmel made a tearful appearance with his son to talk about health care (video below).
On "Jimmy Kimmel Live," Kimmel appeared on Dec. 11 with his son, 7-month-old Billy, and made a plea to protect the Children's Health Insurance Program, a program that has yet to be renewed for federal funding, reports Entertainment Weekly.
Kimmel explained that he had been away from the show for the last week because Billy, who has a serious congenital heart defect, needed to have heart surgery, according to USA Today.
"He may have pooped, but he's fine."
"Daddy cries on TV, but Billy doesn't -- it's unbelievable," mused Kimmel.
Kimmel then explained the significance of the program.
"It covers around nine million American kids whose parents make too much money to qualify for Medicaid, but don’t have access to affordable coverage through their jobs, which means it almost certainly covers children you know," said Kimmel. "About one in eight children are covered only by CHIP."
"Now, CHIP has become a bargaining chip," said Kimmel.
CHIP ran out of federal funding at the beginning of October, and Congress has yet to renew it. In December, former Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton criticized Congress on Twitter for not renewing the program's funding.
"The Children's Health Insurance Program, which provides health care for 9 million kids & has been reauthorized on a bipartisan basis every year for almost 2 decades, is hanging in limbo because Congress let it expire over 2 months ago," Clinton wrote, adding in another tweet that funding for CHIP was "something that we should be able to fix."
It’s on the back burner while they work out the new tax plans, which means parents of children with cancer and diabetes and heart problems are about to get letters saying their coverage could be cut off next month. Merry Christmas, right?" said Kimmel, before linking the lack of funding for CHIP to the GOP's tax reform efforts.
"This is literally a life-and-death program for American kids,” argued Kimmel. “It's always had bipartisan support, but this year they let the money for it expire while they work on getting tax cuts for their millionaire and billionaire donors.”
"I don't know what could be more disgusting than putting a tax cut that mostly goes to the rich ahead of the lives of children,” added the host. "Why hasn't CHIP been funded already? If these were potato chips they were taking away from us -- we would be marching on Washington with pitchforks and spears right now."
In May, Kimmel had revealed that Billy needed heart surgery just days after he was born. Kimmel said that his son is now "doing great," and has one more surgery, according to CNN.
"They say he'll probably [be] on track to win at least a bronze medal in the Olympics in 2036," joked Kimmel.