Former President Barack Obama hijacked Jimmy Kimmel’s emotional announcement that his newborn son, Billy, had open heart surgery, using it to defend his signature health care law, which he said is needed “for kids like Billy.”
Kimmel announced the successful surgery during his show on Monday night, walking the audience through his emotional rollercoaster as a worried parent. Then he turned to politics.
Kimmel knocked Trump for recommending cuts to the National Institute of Health, praised Congress for boosting NIH’s funding and then concluded by offering up praise for Obamacare.
“We were brought up to believe that we live in the greatest country in the world, but until a few years ago, millions and millions of us had no access to health insurance at all,” Kimmel said. “Before 2014” — when Obamcare’s pre-existing condition mandate kicked in — “if you were born with congenital heart disease like my son was, there was a good chance you’d never be able to get health insurance because you had a pre-existing condition. You were born with a pre-existing condition. And if your parents didn’t have medical insurance, you might not live long enough to even get denied because of a pre-existing condition,” the comedian said.
“If your baby is going to die, and it doesn’t have to, it shouldn’t matter how much money you make. I think that’s something that, whether you’re a Republican or a Democrat or something else, we all agree on that, right?”
After Kimmel’s monologue went viral, Obama jumped into the fray on Twitter Tuesday, holding up Kimmel’s son as a reason the Affordable Care Act shouldn’t be repealed.
“Well said, Jimmy. That’s exactly why we fought so hard for the ACA, and why we need to protect it for kids like Billy,” Obama said, adding his congratulations. His message was quickly retweeted tens of thousands of times.
Well said, Jimmy. That’s exactly why we fought so hard for the ACA, and why we need to protect it for kids like Billy. And congratulations! https://t.co/77F8rZrD3P
— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) May 2, 2017
Republicans in Congress are currently trying to agree on a replacement for Obamacare.