“The Jimmy Kimmel Test” – the name of a health care promise made by Sen. Bill Cassidy. It is the promise that no matter a family’s income or health insurance policy, their infant will be treated with equal and required medical attention. A promise to ensure that if the GOP health care bill were to pass through the House, it would also pass “The Jimmy Kimmel Test.”
ABC’s late-night TV host Jimmy Kimmel shared an emotional story May 1 of his at– the– time, three-month-old son being born with a congenital heart condition that required immediate open-heart surgery. As a father, Kimmel shared his experience with healthcare.
Kimmel did not rely on the Affordable Healthcare Act to afford his son’s surgery since the surgery happened at Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles, a private charitable hospital and because his family can afford health insurance.
During a monolgue Sept. 19, Kimmel admitted to politicizing his son’s surgery because he “has to” for the people who do not have the privilege he does.
Before obamacare, children with a preexisting condition like Kimmel’s son would not have been covered by insurance, leaving the parents of the child to either come up with the money or not receive the required medical attention.
After his experience and Cassidy promising the proposed bill would include protection and coverage for all children no matter income or insurance policy, Kimmel was quick to use his televised platform to call Cassidy and the GOP out for lying to him and the American people about how the proposed bill will start to or continue to protect the people who need it.
While Kimmel’s passion to speak about healthcare is noble, he also admitted to not knowing everything about the topic and received criticism for speaking about a nation wide conflict without the right information and credentials.
There is nothing wrong with using a well-earned platform to speak about important topics. But where are the professionals of the field? What are their opinions? Why are they not using their platforms to speak about their profession and why have they left it to comedians or celebrities to do it for them?
Of course, if a person researched facts about healthcare or any major policy, they will break through the surface–level and find facts from professionals, but if we’re honest, the average American doesn’t do that. Professionals in their respective fields need to rise to the responsibility of informing the public and standing for, or against, any changes that will radically transform their field.
Late-night hosts, celebrities or athletes are not the experts. The people who earned the degrees, who study their field daily, and who live and breathe their job need to become the primary sources. It’s time for professionals to be the loudest voice, not only for who they represent but also for society.
Professionals, shouldn’t just contribute to the important conversations, they should run it.