Jimmy Kimmel used the monologue of his talk show on ABC Monday night to talk about his newborn son. It was a frightening story that had a happy ending.
Shortly after his son was born it was discovered that he had heart defects and needed emergency surgery. Kimmel was very emotional in telling his story, which any parent would be. I’ll make a long story short and inform you that is his son was saved and should be OK. But if Kimmel wasn’t a rich talk show host and we didn’t have Obamacare, would his son have survived?
Being serious isn’t something Kimmel often does. Another rarity for him was to get serious about politics. Kimmel made a point by saying “before 2014, 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.”
He went on to say “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?”
Wrong. Not everyone agrees. Former congressman Republican Joe Walsh from Illinois, who’s less cool than Joe Walsh of The Eagles, tweeted out “Sorry Jimmy Kimmel: your sad story doesn’t obligate me or anybody else to pay for somebody else’s health care.” Of course Mr. Walsh doesn’t care about Kimmel’s, or anyone else’s baby, because Mr. Walsh doesn’t concern himself with his own children’s welfare. He was once one of the nation’s most notorious deadbeat dads owing at one point $117,000. You’ll probably find him in a basket with other deplorables.
Walsh isn’t alone in being a shit weasel. Another Republican congressman, Mo Brooks from Alabama, explained how he and other heartless conservatives see the debate over pre-existing conditions and affordable coverage. Mo was pitching Trump/RyanCare on CNN to Jake Tapper and said the GOP healthcare bill “will allow insurance companies to require people who have higher healthcare costs to contribute more to the insurance pool that helps offset all these costs, thereby reducing the cost to those people who lead good lives, they’re healthy, they’ve done the things to keep their bodies healthy.” So basically Jimmy Kimmel’s baby would have to die for not leading a good life.
I can sympathize with Kimmel. I’ve never had a scare as frightening as his but I can relate. I’ve been very close to tragedy.
When I was 15-years-old I lost my nephew, who was two-years-old. He was my older sister’s first baby. A few months after he died I spent the Summer with my big sis and my brother-in-law and I could hear her crying every night. It was the first time in my life that I cursed God. I never cursed him again because I stopped believing in him.
My nephew’s death made me a very paranoid parent several years later after my own son was born. I knew disaster could come out of nowhere. I had several sleepless nights watching him sleep, which he usually did on my chest. Once when he was still in the crawling stage my wife and I picked him up from daycare and all of a sudden it seemed he kept passing out while in his child seat in the backseat of the car. We made a beeline for the hospital freaking out the entire way.
Like Kimmel’s story, my story also ended happily but I know the worry and sick panic when you feel completely helpless and all you can do is sit and wait. My son is 26 now, doing fine and talks to me at least once a week when we argue over Star Wars canon versus theory. I hate Star Wars theory but I get to argue with him which is something every parent should look forward to.
Donald Trump, Paul Ryan, and their fellow Republicans should not decide if your child doesn’t receive healthcare because of your income. They also shouldn’t say he or she should die because they lead terrible lives.
If we strip healthcare from people for leading terrible lives we should start by ripping it away from these Republicans.
Creative notes: This cartoon will not see a lot of reprints and hopefully it won’t cost me any clients. Today I’m running a contest on Facebook with this cartoon and blog entry. The first of my Facebook friends who shares it and gets 20 likes for it on their FB page wins a free signed print of their choice. If you were my Facebook friend then you too could play.
I’ll do another contest in a week or so. I’m easy to find on Facebook. If you do a search I’ll probably be the first Clay Jones who pops up.
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