The other night Jimmy Kimmel, one of the several late night hosts, spoke of his newborn son, born with a severe heart problem that was fixed by surgery on the third day of his life. Needless to say, it was an extremely expensive bit of medical work. Kimmel was thankful for the success of the procedure but also was keenly aware that many in America could not afford such surgery and have no insurance to cover it.
Most people have been deeply touched by Kimmel’s words, knowing they were deeply heartfelt and factually accurate, not just about the surgery but about its expense.
Conservative reaction has been interesting. Sean Spicer, White House Press Secretary, said the President is pushing for repeal and replacement of Obamacare because he agrees with Kimmel. What Spicer did not mention is that because of Obamacare millions of American families are already covered, though they would not have been before Obamacare. Nor did Spicer say just how Trumpcare would help people without Kimmel’s resources. We really have little idea of what’s in the new proposal because it keeps changing form day to day and hasn’t yet been evaluating by the Congressional Budget Office. What little we do know suggests that many millions will lose insurance, not gain it.
Republican Joe Walsh (of “You Lie!” infamy) wrote, “Sorry Jimmy Kimmel: your sad story doesn’t obligate me or anybody else to pay for somebody else’s health care. Got no problem with @jimmykimmel tearing up & getting political. Got a big problem with: ‘We need gov-run healthcare cuz of my sad story.'”
Sunch ignorance! Such hard-hearted ignorance! As a member of Congress, Joe Walsh is part of a health insurance plan. Does he not understand what insurance is? Apparently not. Health insurance is a financial plan whereby a company makes a profit off the healthy people who enroll and uses that profit to pay the bills of those who are not so healthy and to pocket the excess for themselves and their shareholders. Buying insurance is not primarily making an investment which we hope provides enough money for us when we get sick. Rather, buying insurance is a matter of hoping our money goes to someone else, since we don’t want to be sick ourselves. So Walsh’s comment shows both selfish cruelty and inexcusable ignorance.
CNN reported that “Washington Times columnist Charles Hurt echoed the frustration over Kimmel politicizing his personal life. ‘I mean, really, Jimmy, does your newborn child not mean more to you than petty politics?’ Hurt wrote. ‘How do you look at the miracle of your child and think — partisan politics?'” And what in the world would cause a man to think that a plea to save baby’s lives is petty politics?
I am stunned at the hypocrisy of these conservatives. Can an honest, decent person watch that video and question whether Kimmel values his son more than politics? It takes a truly twisted mind to be so mean-spirited. It is impossible for an honest person to listen to what Kimmel is saying and fail to recognize that his “political” comments were a natural extension of his love for his son. That love expanded into a love for all families. Only the hard-hearted could fail to realize that they were listening to love, not politics. It is love, not politics, when a man says, “If your baby is going to die and it doesn’t have to, it shouldn’t matter how much money you make.”
This is America and we are — some say — making America great again. The problem, however, is that those who wear the red hats seem to be trying very hard to oppose everything that has made America great. Their shame is awful. Their enmity toward America is dangerous. And their leader is inexcusable.