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Jimmy Kimmel mocks critics of his health care plea

Commentary: The late-night host slams those who criticized his plea for universal healthcare. Video of his monologue trends highly on YouTube.

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Rounding on his critics.

Jimmy Kimmel Live/YouTube screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

When your baby almost dies, you might get emotional.

Last week, ABC late-night host Jimmy Kimmel revealed how his newborn son Billy was diagnosed at birth with a heart condition. He turned it into an appeal for universal healthcare.

"No parent should ever have to decide if they can afford to save their child's life," he said.

Not everyone agreed with him. He was even called an "elitist creep." So on his return to his show on Monday, Kimmel poured sarcasm and scorn on his critics.

"As a result of my powerful words on that night, Republicans in Congress had second thoughts about repeal and replace.. I saved health insurance in the United States of America," he began, before mock-realizing that the House had actually passed its bill to repeal Obamacare.

"I would like to apologize for saying that children in America should have healthcare. It was insensitive," he continued. "It was offensive and I hope you can find it in your heart to forgive me."

He then turned his attention to Newt Gingrich. The Republican former Speaker of the House had appeared on Fox News to deride Kimmel and declare that any newborn with a heart problem would get immediate medical attention.

"Yes, it is true that if you have an emergency, they will do an operation. And that's terrific if your baby's health problems are all solved during that one visit. The only problem is that never, ever happens," said Kimmel.

He explained that his baby Billy had needed many appointments with specialists. Of Gingrich, he said: "I don't know if the double layers of Spanx are restricting the blood flow to his brain."

Gingrich had also added that Hollywood wasn't funny anymore, because it hated the president so much. Kimmel conceded that Gingrich does know a lot about comedy.

"This is the guy who helped lead the impeachment effort against Bill Clinton for trying to cover his up his affair -- while he was having an affair," said Kimmel.

Gingrich didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

Kimmel also turned on Rep. Raul Labrador from Idaho, who last week claimed: "Nobody dies because they don't have access to health care."

"And that's a congressman," he said. "That's not a garbage man."

Video of Kimmel's monologue soared Tuesday on the YouTube trending chart, with more than 970,000 views.

Kimmel, though, insisted this isn't a partisan issue. He concluded by talking to Sen. Bill Cassidy of Louisiana, a Republican who believes that a health care bill should pass what he calls "the Jimmy Kimmel Test."

The president himself has said: "Nobody knew that healthcare could be so complicated." Oh, I suspect one or two people had an idea. Perhaps what it needs first, though, are simple principles to guide it.

Kimmel's idea: "No family should be denied medical care, emergency or otherwise, because they can't afford it."

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