Although late-night shows have always been considered mere entertainment, they have never had a problem with taking stances on political issues. In the last year, it is arguable that few talk show hosts have adamantly used their platform to talk about political issues like Jimmy Kimmel.
A few months ago, Kimmel opened his show telling an emotionally charged story about his infant son’s struggle with a heart condition he had from birth. Kimmel told this story to emphasize the importance of protecting aspects of former President Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act (ACA) that provided much needed support and assistance to people suffering from pre-existing conditions.
When confronted on the issue, Republican Sen. Bill Cassidy went on various television outlets and promised that the proposed replacement for the ACA would offer protection needed to people with pre-existing conditions. Cassidy also stated that he wanted to make sure that the proposed plan passed the “Jimmy Kimmel test.”
All seemed well until this past week, when Kimmel went on his show to again discuss the newly proposed plan to replace the ACA. Kimmel talked about how the proposed plan would leave it up to individual states to decide whether or not they can do things, like let insurance companies charge people more even if they have a pre-existing condition. The late-night host has essentially used his television show to call out senators for being dishonest with him and to potentially inspire many of his viewers to do what they can to put a stop to the newly proposed health care plan.
Kimmel constantly brings up the health care issue on his show and it has led many people to make comments along the lines of, “You do not know anything about political issues. You are just a talk show host.” It appears that some people, not all, get resentful any time a celebrity decides to use their star power to bring awareness to certain political issues. While it is true that some celebrities embarrass themselves by making ignorant statements on certain political issues, that is not the case here.
Kimmel used his talk show to present an intelligent argument as to why he feels that the newly proposed health care plan would be detrimental to the country. He has gotten so much attention discussing the health care controversy on his show that he is forcing politicians to discuss these issues with the media. This is how celebrities can positively impact society. Use their power to inspire others to action by challenging an issue they are passionate about.
Even though he has the money to afford all of the costs for his son’s medical issues, Kimmel is aware of the fact that most Americans are not as fortunate as he is. Most Americans struggle to pay their bills every month, never mind having to take on the financial burdens of serious medical issues.
It is also important that someone of Kimmel’s stature raises awareness of these issues, because health care is one of the most complicated issues in our country. All of the rules and standards of health care have become so convoluted that most people do not even want to look into it at all. Kimmel argues that this convolution is done so people in power can take total control of the health care system.
Television shows like “Jimmy Kimmel Live” are providing viewers with a concise explanation about problems with the newly proposed health care plan. I am not saying that you should put your full faith and support into the stars of Hollywood, but it is refreshing to see certain celebrities going out of their way to stand up for those who do not have the time, money or platform to stand up for themselves.