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Late-night host Jimmy Kimmel holds son, pleads for health care

16 December 2017

Jimmy Kimmel returned to his ABC late-night show Monday night, and brought his son Billy out to join him.

Born in April, Kimmel's son suffers from a congenital heart condition called tetralogy of Fallot with pulmonary atresia, and he underwent his first open heart surgery at 3 days old.

Back in May Kimmel emerged as one of the most passionate voices on healthcare reform in the wake of his son's birth and an attendant health crisis that saw the newborn undergoing emergency open-heart surgery to fix a life-threatening heart defect.

Kimmel said it's "disgusting" that Congress is putting tax cuts for millionaires ahead of the lives of children. "About one in eight children are covered only by CHIP".

While funding of CHIP has not historically been a partisan issue, it's become what Kimmel described as "a bargaining chip" in Congress as it debates its tax overhaul proposal.

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.

The father implored Congress to restart funding CHIP which has helped fund child care for more than nine million families in the USA who don't qualify for Medicaid and who do not receive health benefits through their employer.

Of course, Kimmel also gave audience members an update on Billy's health. "Merry Christmas, right?" Kimmel said. "This is literally a life and death program for American kids".

Some states are already starting to run out of funds - and a few have begun notifying parents that benefits may end in coming months.

He assured viewers that his darling little boy was doing well, joking that doctors say he's "probably on track to win at least a bronze medal in the Olympics in 2036".

WATCH: Jimmy Kimmel talks about his son's health battle.

Kimmel doesn't understand how "a tax cut that mostly goes to rich people" could be prioritized over the lives of children.

Late-night host Jimmy Kimmel holds son, pleads for health care