After Jimmy Kimmel opened up about his newborn son’s emergency heart surgery in May, he received an outpouring of support from fans.
In a new interview with the Hollywood Reporter, Kimmel said that he also received letters from former presidents Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama and several congresspeople after he pleaded with politicians to guarantee American families universal health care.
Health care, he said, should not be “a red or blue issue,” and he added he would “love” to talk to President Donald Trump about it.
“I don’t see what the difference between health care and education is. Every kid should have a right to an education. We don’t seem to have a problem with paying for that. I was relieved when the [GOP bills] failed to pass, but it’s far from over,” he told the Hollywood Reporter. “I worry that those who oppose Obamacare are going to do everything they can to make sure it doesn’t work. Nothing is perfect, but when people are working against something, it makes it a tough road.”
Kimmel, 49, spoke out three months ago about his son, Billy, who required surgery for a heart defect just days after he was born. During an emotional monologue on his ABC show, “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” he pleaded with politicians to come together to ensure health care for all Americans, particularly those who have pre-existing conditions.
“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,” he told the Hollywood Reporter. “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.”
As for his son, Kimmel told the publication that he will need two more surgeries, but is “doing great.” Late last month, the comedian and his wife, Molly McNearney, shared photos of the 3-month-old boy and encouraged their followers to stay politically active.
“Remind your Congresspeople that every kid deserves the care [Billy] got,” Kimmel wrote.