On Monday night, Jimmy Kimmel returned as host to Jimmy Kimmel Live following a week off in which his 7-month-old son had heart surgery. He brought his son with him.
He used his monologue to address an issue that is particularly personal for his own family: CHIP funding. Over two months ago, Congress failed to renew funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program for the first time in history.
“CHIP is the Children’s Health Insurance Program. 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. About 1 in 8 children are covered only by CHIP, and it’s not controversial, it’s not a partisan thing.”
Jimmy Kimmel can afford his son’s medical bills. There are millions of parents in the United States whose children have a serious medical condition who no longer know whether they’re going to be able to afford to save their child’s life. And why is this happening?
Because the free-market die-hards in Congress are so worried about passing tax cuts for the wealthy, they’re willing to force parents to make life-or-death decisions about the health of their children.
“CHIP has become a bargaining chip. It’s on the back burner while they work out their new tax plans, which means parents of children with cancer and diabetes are about to get letters saying their coverage could be cut, because Congress, about 72 days ago, failed to approve funding for CHIP, the first time since it was created two decades ago. This is literally a life and death program for American kids. 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.”
Our legislators are literally choosing tax cuts for the rich over the lives of children. That is fact, and we should all be outraged. Kimmel notes that for much less, we would be marching on Washington. He asks that Americans “jam the phones” in the House and Senate for as long as it takes for Congress to take a break from tax cuts and renew funding for CHIP.
“I don’t know what could be more disgusting than putting a tax cut that mostly goes to rich people ahead of the lives of children. Why hasn’t CHIP been funded already? If these were potato chips, we would be marching on Washington with pitchforks and spears right now.”
Call Congress today and as long as you have to. Children’s lives are at risk, and we can all do something about it before it’s too late.
Featured Image Via YouTube Video.