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Fighting back tears, comedian Jimmy Kimmel opened his Monday night show by talking about the recent birth of his son Billy — and how an alert nurse detected a heart defect in the baby just hours after birth. After emergency consultations, a team at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles carried out a delicate surgery to save the newborn.

And since the personal is always political, Kimmel turned his story into a plea to protect coverage for people with preexisting conditions, at a time when Congress is debating that very issue.

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  • I am a NICU nurse practitioner, have been for 30 years. Best wishes for his son. However Jimmy is flat out wrong as are all the people supporting what he is saying about health insurance. NO INFANT is ever denied care. Every baby that goes into a NICU automatically qualifies for Medicaid regardless of parent’s income/status. What Medicaid does not pay is written off. Please don’t make this a political issue. Out tiniest patients are always cared for regardless of immigration status or financial situation. Those who love to talk about socialized medicine should research Europe. The babies that we routinely save here would be denied care there because they cost too much.

    • Hi! I’m an MD. Always amazed by the work of NICU staff. Remarkable. Thank you for your thirty years of service. But, your health economics are missing some key points. 1) What do you think “written off” means? “Written off” means that the hospital jack up prices everywhere else to cover costs. E.g., insurance company CEOs make big bucks while consumers pay more 2) The Republican healthcare bill is looking to block grant Medicaid AND to allow insurers to pick and choose what they will and will not cover. This would mean that states could very much decide to cut off Medicaid NICU funding for certain babies. 3) The babies you so skillfully save become adults (thanks to your amazing work!) and will have quite a few “pre-existing conditions” that could make it impossible to afford health insurance to cover any future ailments.

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