Jimmy Kimmel's tearful plea

Amy Stevenson

Having taken time off to care for his baby son, Jimmy Kimmel has returned to his late night show to make an emotional plea to the US Congress.

Holding his infant son Billy in his arms, who has just undergone a second heart surgery, the Jimmy Kimmel Live! host made a tearful appeal to the government and calling on Congress to restore the "life and death program" known as the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). Watch the emotional moment in the clip above.

"Now CHIP has become a bargaining chip," Kimmel said during his opening monologue, becoming clearly emotional as he spoke about the healthcare program. "It’s on the back burner while they work out their new tax plans. 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. Merry Christmas, right?

Jimmy Kimmel bought his son out during his opening monologue before making his tearful plea. Source: Jimmy Kimmel Live!

"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," he went on.

"Imagine getting that letter... literally not knowing how you will afford to save your child’s life."

He continued, adding it was "disgusting" the politicians had put "getting tax cuts for their billionaire and millionaire donors" ahead of the wellbeing of millions of Americans who are in need of the program.

As the 50-year-old began to choke up Kimmel joked "Daddy cries on TV but Billy doesn't" as his audience applauded in support.

The late night host has spoken about affordable children's healthcare previously. Source: Instagram
Billy was born with a heart defect in April. Source: Instagram

It's not the first time Kimmel has been a champion for affordable healthcare, especially for children, after Billy was born with a heart defect in April.

The bub underwent his first open heart surgery at three days old, with Kimmel previously talking about the "terrifying" experience on his late night show.

"He was an easy delivery - six pushes he was out," the comedian said in May. "And he appeared to be a normal, healthy baby until about three hours after he was born."

It was a nurse who noticed "a murmur in his heart - which is common with newborn babies - but she also noticed he was a bit purple", adding the situation "all of a sudden it felt serious" after the family were moved from out of the delivery room.

The bub has undergone two open heart surgeries since he was born. Source: Instagram

"The room started to fill up - more doctors and nurses and equipment started coming in. And they determined he wasn’t getting enough oxygen into his blood which, from what I understood at the time, was most likely one of two things: either his heart or his lungs."

It was then doctors discovered his newborn son had a "hole in the wall of the left and right side of his heart", with Kimmel breaking down as he added, "So more doctors and nurses and equipment comes in and it’s a terrifying thing."

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