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Jimmy Kimmel has had enough of Congress putting tax cuts for the rich ahead of the lives of children.
On Monday night’s episode of “Jimmy Kimmel Live,” late-night TV’s champion for affordable healthcare made his case once again: The Children’s Health Insurance Program needs to be funded already.
Joined by his infant son, Billy, who had heart surgery just last week, a tearful Kimmel broke down exactly why CHIP is important.
“It covers around 9 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,” explained Kimmel. “About one in eight children are covered only by CHIP.”
Since making sure children have access to healthcare has never been a controversial or partisan issue, both Democrats and Republicans had supported CHIP. Until now.
“Now CHIP has become a bargaining chip,” said Kimmel. “It’s on the back burner while they work out their 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?”
“This is literally a life-and-death program for American kids,” Kimmel continued. “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.”
Kimmel doesn’t understand how “a tax cut that mostly goes to rich people” could be prioritized over the lives of children.
So the Kimmels — both Jimmy and Billy — asked viewers to once again make “two phone calls you shouldn’t have to make” to House and Senate members to finally restore CHIP funding.
“Don’t let them keep pushing it off,” he said. “They need to fund CHIP now.”