Tuesday, May 2, 2017
Jimmy Kimmel Monologue 5/1/17 : "His Son’s Birth & Heart Disease"
(Some heartless bastards took this video down, but of course you can still see it if you Google, "jimmy kimmel monologue 5/1/17.")
We've all heard stories about parents whom fate has jammed up with complications of childbirth. I know that I sure have. Like a friend of mine who had to divorce his wife as part of a plan that would put her on welfare and make the child a ward of the state for medical purposes, you know, so the child could receive the necessary care for the necessary twenty-odd years until it died a natural death anyway. Like a friend of mine who was married to a Canadian woman and living in New York City who had to move the family up to Canada so that a severely handicapped child would receive more than minimal care. Parents of limited resources are up against a huge burden when a child is born with overwhelming medical needs in America. It shouldn't happen, but it does.
Jimmy Kimmel, whose comedy work I appreciate, and his wife came up against such a Fate's-Mighty-Curve-Ball last week. Luckily, they were in a wonderful hospital when it happened, and luckily they have very substantial ability-to-pay so everyone on the medical team flew into high gear immediately. The baby was transferred to Children's Hospital and saved by a team of medical miracle workers. God knows that I wish Jimmy and his family the best of continuing luck and happiness, but I want to take a minute to thank him for realizing: not all parents in their situation are so lucky.
Jimmy, to his immortal credit, took considerable time on his show to empathize with parents of low economic means when the worst happens. The audience was strongly supportive of the proposition that any family, or any baby, in that situation should receive all of the help that the medical profession can provide. Jimmy seemed to feel, like I do, that it's a huge blot on the reputation of our country, and an embarrassment before the world, that they do not receive that care . . . that those babies die unnecessarily.
I still hear many vague rumblings about how Single-Payer medical coverage will be available to all Americans at some point. Like "sooner-or-later" or something. I'm pretty sure that it will be "later," myself. Because, let's face it, no one in America cares. Certainly not our so-called representatives in Washington, or in more than a very few state capitals. It's either a question of "there's no money," or "America is too large for such a program," or "people need to be self-reliant." All of those responses are total bullshit, and many of us know it. The problem is really 1) the billion dollar pharmaceuticals industry; 2) the billion dollar medical insurance industry; and 3) the billion dollar medical industry. (Actually, those are multi-billion dollar industries and they are not the only ones in the problem-chain.) It's profit over your health, and your government consistently sides with the profiteers.
Thanks again, Jimmy, for saying something meaningful about this issue out loud on your show. And good luck, everybody. May the worst never happen to you. And may God have mercy on the unlucky.