Movies & TV / News

Jimmy Kimmel Reveals Which Presidents Reached Out About His Son

August 11, 2017 | Posted by Joseph Lee
Jimmy Kimmel

In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Jimmy Kimmel spoke about his healthcare speech back in May, in which he used his son’s congenital heart defect as an example for why Congress should not take away healthcare protections for those with preexisting conditions. In this interview, he spoke once again about that speech and which Presidents reached out about his son. Here are highlights:

On how his son is doing: “He’s doing great. Young Billy made his first visit to our office today. He’s juggling. He’s translating Flaubert from French into English. He’s really an amazing kid. No — he smiles. That’s pretty much it. He is very interested in ceiling fans. He likes those a lot. I could get him to pay the same amount for Netflix just to watch ceiling fans. He has to have two more open heart surgeries. We would like to get them over with and not have to think about it all the time, but it could definitely be worse.”

On if he was conflicted about speaking about Billy on his show: “I knew I had to say something, and I knew that I would get emotional. It occurred to me that maybe we could make it into something positive. I had a lot of time to think at the hospital, and it just so happened that our government was deciding whether or not millions of people should have health care at that time. I think it made a big impact on American citizens. I’m not sure, based on how our so-called leaders voted, whether it made a big impact on the Senate or House.”

On if President Obama reached out to him: “He sent a very nice letter. He wished us the best and thanked us for speaking. President Clinton sent a letter. President [George W.] Bush sent a very nice letter. A number of congresspeople sent notes. My goal always is to not make this a red or blue issue, because I don’t think it is. If the opinion polls are to be believed, more than 80 percent of Americans support some kind of health insurance plan that works. It’s clear that these politicians aren’t listening to the people. That’s why it’s very important when you’re making your donations to remember places like Children’s Hospital Los Angeles and hospitals like it across the country. A lot of the children [at CHLA] have cancer and other things that are really horrible. Things that aren’t solved with two or three operations. It was obvious that many of them were low-income kids. To know that this hospital was taking care of them no matter what, no matter if we have universal health care in this country or not, is really impressive.”

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Jimmy Kimmel, Joseph Lee