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Jimmy Kimmel 'Apologizes' to Critics of His Health Care Speech: 'It Was Offensive'

"I would like to apologize for saying that children in America should have health care."

Shaunna Murphy

One week after his powerful monologue about his newborn son Billy's emergency heart surgery touched millions, Jimmy Kimmel returned from paternity leave to update Jimmy Kimmel Live viewers on his son's condition -- and of course, to confront critics like the Washington Times, which ran a headline titled "Shut up Jimmy Kimmel, you elitist creep."

"One week ago tonight, I made an emotional speech that was seen by millions, and as a result of my powerful words on that night, Republicans in Congress had second thoughts about repeal and replace," Kimmel joked at the top of the show. "They realized that what is right is right, and I saved health insurance in the United States of America."

Kristen Bell gives update on Jimmy Kimmel's family after guest-hosting his late-night show

Kimmel then added that "so many people" donated to the Children's Hospital Los Angeles after his speech, and that Billy is doing well after the open-heart surgery that saved his life at just three days old.

"He's eating, he is getting bigger," Kimmel continued. "He's sleeping well. He can read now, which they say is unusual."

He then addressed his many critics, which included everyone from Twitter trolls to tabloid publications to even Newt Gingrich, who attacked Kimmel's earlier speech on Fox News Sunday.

"I cannot count the number of times I've been called an 'out of touch Hollywood elitist creep,' which I have to say I kind of appreciate," Kimmel quipped. "When I was a kid, we had to drink powdered milk because we couldn't afford the liquid. Our orange juice came frozen out of a can; it would squeeze out. My father, on the rare occasion we took a family trip, would hide the dog in the car and then smuggle it into the motel room to avoid paying a $2 pet fee. So my dream was to become an out-of-touch Hollywood elitist. And I guess it came true. Anyway, I would like to apologize for saying that children in America should have health care. That was insensitive. It was offensive, and I hope you can find it in your heart to forgive me."

As for Gingrich, Kimmel disputed the former speaker of the House's claims that when a newborn has a heart problem, doctors will solve said problem immediately, and not wait for the family to cut a check. Because as Kimmel explained, Gingrich's argument doesn't include the seemingly countless follow-up appointments, ambulance rides, and hours of work missed by the parents.

"We've had a dozen doctors appointments since our son had surgery," Kimmel said. "You've got a cardiologist, the pediatrician, surgeon, some kids need an ambulance to transport them. That doesn't even count the parents who have to miss work for all this stuff. Those details, Newt forgot to mention. I don't know if the double layers of Spanx are restricting the blood flow to his brain."

Kimmel then conducted a satellite interview with Senator Bill Cassidy (R-La.), a supporter of President Trump's plan who said health care should pass the "Jimmy Kimmel test" just last week. The two went back-and-forth for several minutes, with Kimmel ending the segment with a mic-drop.

"I can think of a way to pay for [a health care plan] is don't give a huge tax cut to millionaires like me and instead, leave it how it is. I mean, that would be one way," Kimmel concluded. "That's my vote."

Jimmy Kimmel Live airs weeknights at 11:35/10:35c on ABC.