Obama touts ACA after Jimmy Kimmel’s plea on health care

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President Barack Obama delivers his farewell address at McCormick Place on Jan. 10, 2017.

Tweeting for the first time in more than a month, former President Barack Obama on Tuesday touted his signature health care law as he offered support to Jimmy Kimmel the morning after the late-night talk show host made an impassioned plea for greater access to medical care.

Kimmel disclosed Monday that his newborn son was born with a heart condition that required immediate surgery. At the start of his show, he skipped the usual jokes and discussed the ordeal in a teary monologue.

Tuesday afternoon, Obama referenced the Affordable Care Act in his tweet to Kimmel: “Well said, Jimmy. That’s exactly why we fought so hard for the ACA, and why we need to protect it for kids like Billy. And congratulations!”

About three hours after William’s birth, Kimmel told his audience, a nurse at Cedar Sinai hospital detected a heart murmur. The surgery took place Sunday at Children’s Hospital during what Kimmel called “the longest three hours of my life,” and the baby now is home with his family.

The host also used the moment to make a political statement, thanking Congress for rejecting the Trump Administration’s request for a cut in funding to the National Institutes of Health. The cut, Kimmel said, “would have a major impact on lot of great places, including Children’s Hospital in Los Angeles. Which is so unbelievably sad to me.

“If your baby is going to die and it doesn’t have to, it shouldn’t matter how much money you make. … Whether you’re a Republican or a Democrat or something else, we all agree on that, right?” he said.

Obama and former first lady Michelle will be back in Chicago on Wednesday. They’ll be at the South Shore Cultural Center to provide an update on the Obama Center presidential library and museum, show a model of the place and get “input” on it from a handpicked audience.

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