White House responds to Jimmy Kimmel's health care monologue

Story highlights

  • During Kimmel's emotional monologue, the host opened up about his son's heart defect
  • A handful of Democrats -- including president Barack Obama -- praised Kimmel

Washington (CNN)The White House has joined the list of politicians weighing in on Jimmy Kimmel's emotional health care monologue.

The late night host on Monday choked up while talking about his son's heart surgery, calling on viewers to hold politicians accountable for health care issues.
White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer on Wednesday said President Donald Trump shares the same concerns about health care as Kimmel.
"We share that concern for the Kimmels' child, as well as any child that needs care," Spicer told reporters. "That's frankly why the president fought so hard like he did this morning to improve the bill to sure there was an extra layer of protection for anybody with a pre-existing condition no matter their stage in life."
The comments come as Republican leaders continue to push to repeal and replace Obamacare -- also known as the Affordable Health Care Act.
"That's why we're fighting so hard for this," Spicer said of the GOP party's efforts to find a replacement.
A handful of Democratic leaders -- including former President Barack Obama and former Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton -- took to Twitter earlier this week to share Kimmel's speech.
"Well said, Jimmy," Obama wrote on Twitter Tuesday afternoon. "That's exactly why we fought so hard for the (Affordable Care Act), and why we need to protect it for kids like Billy. And congratulations!"
Meanwhile, some conservatives -- including politicians and columnists -- have criticized the late night host, accusing him of misconstruing the broader health care debate.
"Sorry Jimmy Kimmel: your sad story doesn't obligate me or anybody else to pay for somebody else's health care," former Illinois Rep. Joe Walsh tweeted Wednesday. "Got no problem with @jimmykimmel tearing up & getting political. Got a big problem with: 'We need gov-run healthcare cuz of my sad story.'"
Others, like Townhall columnist Michelle Malkin, believe Kimmel's monologue is factually incorrect.
"Kimmel implies that opposition to Obamacare-style insurance mandates is both un-American and indecent," Malkin wrote. "Had he been less hysterical, he would have acknowledged that different health care systems have pros and cons -- and decent Americans can have legitimate differences of opinion on such matters."
Daily Beast conservative columnist Matt Lewis said he "understands where Jimmy Kimmel is coming from" but that the monologue was "a little cheap."
"The passion, I think, is sincere. I don't think that this is the right move for him to do to politicize this," Lewis said Tuesday on "Anderson Cooper 360."
Washington Times columnist Charles Hurt echoed the frustration over Kimmel politicizing his personal life.
"I mean, really, Jimmy, does your newborn child not mean more to you than petty politics?" Hurt wrote. "How do you look at the miracle of your child and think — partisan politics?"
Spicer stressed that the most important part of Kimmel's monologue was the end, during which he emphasized that health care shouldn't be a partisan issue.
"He (Kimmel) said that we need to have these things that are not Republican or Democrat, they are American policies," Spicer said. "I think that's what the President is fighting for right now. To make sure we have a health care system that doesn't matter where you live or your background, that it takes care of people. We're making sure right now -- we've talked about this endlessly. We have a health care system not doing what it's supposed to."
Vice President Mike Pence was on Capitol Hill Wednesday to meet with members of Congress about the new bill.