He's in the Army now ..........

~Jennifer - posted on 10/19/2009 ( 21 moms have responded )

4,164

61

369

Man Joins Army to Help Ailing Wife

He Loses Job and Insurance, She Battles Cancer



(Oct. 19) -- Two of the nation's most pressing issues -- unemployment and health care -- have come together in a personal perfect storm for one Wisconsin family.

Bill Caudle of Watertown was laid off in March from the plastics company where he'd worked for 20 years. Unable to find another job, Caudle -- on his 39th birthday -- enlisted in the U.S. Army to get the health insurance his wife needs to continue her battle against ovarian cancer. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel told the family's story Sunday.

Michelle Caudle, 40, discovered she had cancer in 2006 and underwent surgery, followed by two rounds of chemotherapy. In May, her doctor told her there were signs the cancer was back and she would need to endure more chemo.

The $136 monthly cost of insurance for the family rose to $497 when Bill's severance package ran out last month and was due to jump to $1,370 in January. Michelle worked part-time at a restaurant to help pay the bills, but the job did not provide insurance.

With no employment prospects in sight, Bill decided his best option was to sign up for a four-year hitch in the military -- even though it meant leaving his high school sweetheart to fight cancer on her own. The Caudles have three children and Bill's decision also meant he would be away for all of his youngest daughter's high school years.

The Caudles didn't attend any of this summer's heated town hall meetings on health care reform. They know politicians and interest groups on both sides of the issue would like to use their story to score political points, the Journal Sentinel reported. They want no part of it.

"We're not activists," Michelle told the newspaper.

All of Michelle's energies will be devoted instead to beating a deadly disease and caring for her children while her husband goes through basic training with recruits half his age at Fort Knox, Ky. -- nearly 500 miles away from home.

Bill is scheduled to finish basic training and begin his new life as an Army communications equipment specialist in mid-December. Michelle would still be getting chemo by then, the paper said, but she hopes to feel well enough to travel to Kentucky for her husband's graduation.



Man Joins Army to Help Ailing WifeHe Loses Job and Insurance, She Battles Cancer





(Link to oroignal article (more detailed) below)



http://www.jsonline.com/news/wisconsin/6...

This conversation has been closed to further comments

21 Comments

View replies by

[deleted account]

I've never had that awful of treatment in WA State even on state insurance... That's really awful! What town are you in? Even when I lived on the LB peninsula I never had that bad of care! I think someone should be sending formal complaints about that doctor! Get his ass out of there!!! I did see a really rude dentist on state insurance, but there were other options, and I was a minor... Hell I still owe my dentist (different dentist & area for that matter) almost $500 from services my husband and I had 5 yrs ago, when we had insurance! Granted I've only been paying $20-50/mo. but that's cuz its all I can afford :( been SAHM a few years in between so my husbands pay increases never seem to do enough :(



I had to DRASTICALLY scale down my hours @ work to get my income low enough to get insurance when I was pregnant, I was on BH when my hubby had his insurance issued through work and when I got kicked off because he had a good month we were past his open enrollment period, not that we could have afforded the almost $500/mo for the insurance, not to mention copays...but just the same. Even more retarded, I ended up getting back on BH and I totally could have afforded a premium but because I was pregnant I got put on BH plus and it was free...Not complaining that I didn't have to help pay for this, but I could have, and should have! I have to pay a premium now, so why not then? I don't get it???



My neighbor also got kicked off medicaid/care? after he was lucky enough to get off of dialysis and was unable to afford the medication that helped his body maintain the level of functioning keeping him off dialysis...he went into the hospital for a 3-5 day stay TWICE in the last month or two because of this! And so far hasn't had to get back on dialysis permanently but was on it in the hospital & almost died the first time!!! All because he couldn't go see his dr when he started not feeling well because he couldn't afford it and had no insurance :( It's sad when "how am i going to pay for this" is the first thought when you need to be seen by a doctor!

Sara - posted on 10/22/2009

9,313

50

586

Not to discount your experiences Dawn, because that sucks, but my first thought when reading your story was "What a crappy doctor!". I wonder if that guy would be bad even if he were in private practice. Was it the same doctor that saw your son all those times before?

Dawn - posted on 10/22/2009

489

8

41

I live in a very small town in the middle of the woods. Our only clinic is state funded. My son had a build up of wax in his ear when he had a check up at age 3. They told me that it would traumatize him if they tried to remove it and that it will come out on it's own. I forgot about it. Then a few months before his fourth birthday he had an ear infection. They again said that he had ear wax in his one ear and that it would traumatize him if they tried to remove it and that it should come out on its own. Also, during this time I'm asking his doctor about his speech and how he isn't talking that clearly. He told me that he was talking fine and that it will improve as he gets older.
Well after my daughter was born and she ended up getting pneumonia when she was born and after two days at the hospital (state funded) she got air lifted to the children's hospital. There they asked why the hospital never put in a feeding tube. Well she recovered after being there for 10 days and released weighing only 3oz more that what she was when born.
So after that issue with my daughter I took my kids to another clinic 1 1/2hrs away that is not state funded. (its is the next town over that has doctors and a much better hospital) The new doctor did my son's 4 yr check up, Found the wax, I told her about him having it for at lease 2 months. They removed it. No trauma. The length of the wax? Oh about 1/2 in long. He finally could hear better. Then later we found out that he had fluid in his ear and he got tubes put in a few months ago. Speech is improving greatly. He went outside the day after getting them and said that he could never hear the birds before.
On of the things that I found out about our gov run clinic. They have a set amount of time that the doctor is allowed to be with each patient. This is an issue I have with the UHC. Are they going to do this to all doctors? Limit their time? I'm not sure I my son's hearing would have been resolved even by now if I didn't change doctors. Unless its a big emergency. I refuse to take my children to the clinic in town. I'm also not the only one that has had problem getting good care from this clinic. Details like this I'd love to know if its going to be part of the program. What they should have done years ago, is stop this abuse from the insurance companies.
By the way I live in Washington state.

Starr - posted on 10/22/2009

29

1

0

What isn't mentioned too is that the Army provides free health coverage to service members AND their families. I am sure this was another reason why this person joined the military. Even though he will be away...his wife will get the full care she needs and deserves. There's no such things as pre-existing conditions when it comes to military health care.

I was in the Army for 12 years and everything healthcare was covered for me, my husband and our children. Sure, I was deployed and away from my family often but the Army never said no or put a limit to the types of health coverage I or my family could get. That, in the end, was worth the deployments because I had peace of mind that as long as I stayed in, my family would be taken care of.

Now, of course that I am out, I pay co-pays, premiums and still have to jump through red tape to see who I want to see. Totally different from what I had in the Army. The grass is not always greener on the other side and I got out because I was away from my family often. But I've been a civilian for 4 years now with civilian insurance and can still say that it can't even compare to what I had when I was in the Army.

[deleted account]

I sometimes worry about my husbands health. I think we would have to move back to the UK if he ever got really sick. It might even result in me having to do something drastic like joining the army to get him a visa over there. If thats what it takes then I would do it.



I honestly don't see any of these health care reforms changing anything for us because we earn too much for any benefit of any kind, but we are left with zero after all the bills are paid. It doesn't matter how affordable health insurance is under these reforms. On a disposable income of zero, we can only afford a policy if it's available to us for free. I'll believe it when it happens.

Sarah - posted on 10/21/2009

5,465

31

344

So sad that this poor man and his wife have to resort to this!
I still don't get (and prob never will) why the whole of the US is not only supportive of universal healthcare......but DEMANDING it!
The fact that you can't just walk in and see a doctor if you're ill......or that your first thought if you are hospitalised may be 'Crap! How will i afford this?' Is just disgusting to me!
Poor woman should be concentrating on getting better, not having to deal with all that crap! It truly makes me sick (pardon the pun!)

Johnny - posted on 10/21/2009

8,686

26

322

Perhaps this is another reason the powers-that-be do not want affordable health care to be offered to the populace. It helps with recruiting goals and could help to avert any need for re instituting the draft (which would be a huge political bomb). Call me a conspiracy theorist, but it really seems that those in power are interested in keeping the middle/poor classes impoverished by any means possible. Now the desperate are available to fight the wars to help make the rich richer.

Charlie - posted on 10/20/2009

11,203

111

409

i haven't been to the dentist since it was free in high school eeeek , i wish the dentist would bulk bill but i really need to go over a hundred dollars for a check up ?? crazy .

Jodi - posted on 10/20/2009

3,562

36

3907

Oh, on the other hand, here's a tip. Go see a doctor first and get a letter to the triage nurse from them. When Mike (my SS) had meningitis, we went to see the doctor first (had an immediate appointment), and the doctor wrote a letter to the triage nurse and had us take him straight to hospital, and he was seen immediately :) His symptoms were not obviously meningitis, so a traige nurse may not have seen it.

Jodi - posted on 10/20/2009

3,562

36

3907

No, it's not perfect, and I get so sick of listening to state and federal politicians blaming each other rather than actually doing something, but at the same time, I know we are very lucky to have free health care.



Did you know that you get free dental check ups annually once your kids turn 12? I didn't know, and I received a letter last month from medicare with my voucher, just out of the blue!!! I do it anyway, but it's nice to get a free one!!

Charlie - posted on 10/20/2009

11,203

111

409

Jodi , i am sorry to hear you had to wait like that i have heard horror stories and do consider myself lucky i guess , i do think our own system isn't perfect that's for sure !

Jodi - posted on 10/20/2009

3,562

36

3907

Quoting Loureen:

WOW , that is just terrible your health care system sounds pretty bad .

In Australia i have always had good experiences with our system i did not pay a cent to doctors , hospitals , i didn't even pay for ultra sounds ( although my tax does ) and even in the emergency room i have always been attended to straight away at Randwick Royal woman's hospital and pambula hospital in fact after a miscarriage not only did they deal with me straight away but they let me stay in the hospital until i was ready to leave 2 days later and i am on medicare NOT private health insurance .



Loureen, you were lucky with no waiting when you had your miscarriages.  But I have heard that Canberra Hospital is the worst in the country for waiting times....... private insurance doesn't help with an emergency at all - private hospitals don't take emergency patients.  I went in on medicare too.



If I'd called an ambulance, they may have been more likely to see me sooner.  In hindsight, that's what I should have done!! 

Charlie - posted on 10/20/2009

11,203

111

409

WOW , that is just terrible your health care system sounds pretty bad .

In Australia i have always had good experiences with our system i did not pay a cent to doctors , hospitals , i didn't even pay for ultra sounds ( although my tax does ) and even in the emergency room i have always been attended to straight away at Randwick Royal woman's hospital and pambula hospital in fact after a miscarriage not only did they deal with me straight away but they let me stay in the hospital until i was ready to leave 2 days later and i am on medicare NOT private health insurance .

Jodi - posted on 10/20/2009

3,562

36

3907

Quoting Natalie:

$20000 for a natural birth! 



Holy Shit!!!  Excuse the 'French' but I had my daughter in a private hospital, natural birth, she ended up in special care (too small) and I was out of pocket only about $1000 in total, and that included the pediatric care for my daughter while in hospital.  That is disgusting!!



 



Quoting Natalie:

Oh, and ER waits in the US are just as awful, Jodi. Earlier this year, my husband's ear was literally oozing blood for no apparent reason. Lots of it. It wouldn't stop and he couldn't walk straight or stand for longer than a few seconds. We waited three hours just for triage, then another to get to a room, and two more to see a doctor. Then there was a tornado so we had to wait another hour before they'd let us leave. So, long waits are not really a reason to avoid a public option that fly with me.



Natalie, I had to wait 2 hours when I was haemorraging following a miscarriage, and ended up collapsing from blood loss.  They got me a wheelchair, but I still had to wait another hour before I was seen, and then they freaked out because they struggled to find a vein to get me to emergency surgery!!  I know where you are coming from.  But I thought we were bad....



 



Sounds like you guys need some major reform.  No-one should be profiting from bsaic and necessary health care.  In this country, our health insurance companies are regulated, and have to APPLY to the government for increases to premiums, which means they have to provide justification for the increase.



This is not to say that some people don't end up out of pocket or disadvantaged. My father had cancer about 20 years ago, and needed to receive radiotherapy ASAP.  The public system put him on a waiting list for 6 months.  For an outpatient treatment!  In 6 months, cancer can become a death sentence.  So they paid to go to a private hospital to have it done (they didn't have insurance at the time).  But because our government still partially funds the private health system, it only cost them $1000 for the daily radiation treatment for a month.

Jeannette - posted on 10/20/2009

911

3

78

I'd prefer the bill to have a public option. Actually, I'd prefer it to cover everyone and abolish insurance companies, well, save for those who want cadillac plans.

Natalie - posted on 10/20/2009

225

10

23

My husband and I are visiting the recruiter's office in a few hours for similar reasons. We used to get insurance through my job, but since FMLA doesn't kick in 'till you've worked somewhere for a year, I didn't get to take time off of work after my son was born. Well, that's pretty much not possible, so I resigned, rather than being fired for excessive absence. We were paying $200/month just to cover me, and they still didn't cover most of my hospital costs- $20000 for a natural birth! They billed me for epidural medication I didn't even use! With my husband's job, we still make about the same amount of money, but we can't buy private insurance. My son hasn't gained weight since he was four months (he's 9 months now) and we can't even get the blood tests done to find out what could be wrong- the lab turned us away without the all-important insurance card (pretty sure that's illegal, btw, but that's a different fight). Aside from being excessively petite, he's fine, he's hit all his milestones, energetic, eats LOADS, says about four words, ect, ect, but he's just not growing and we can't even find out why, much less get treatment. I'm sure if someone diagnosed him right now, we'd never be able to get coverage because of his "pre-existing condition."

Oh, and ER waits in the US are just as awful, Jodi. Earlier this year, my husband's ear was literally oozing blood for no apparent reason. Lots of it. It wouldn't stop and he couldn't walk straight or stand for longer than a few seconds. We waited three hours just for triage, then another to get to a room, and two more to see a doctor. Then there was a tornado so we had to wait another hour before they'd let us leave. So, long waits are not really a reason to avoid a public option that fly with me.

So now we're considering giving up years of our lives together so one of us can fight in a war we don't support, just to get health coverage. Awesome job, America.

Sara - posted on 10/20/2009

9,313

50

586

This country, at the very least, needs a public option. It's disgusting that we live in a country that profits off the sick and makes it so difficult to get insurance in the first place. It's sad that this debate has been turned into this circus by lobbyists and conservatives where a public option for people with no health coverage is equivalent to a government take over of health insurance and thus a government take over of EVERYTHING. I just had a discussion with my daycare provider yesterday about this. She is self employed because she runs a licensed daycare out of her home. She cannot afford health insurance and told me that she hasn't been to the doctor in 10 years. That's sad. This is a middle class woman who works very hard for a living and takes very good care of my daughter...disgusting. She doesn't deserve to be able to go to the doctor when she's sick?

Lindsay - posted on 10/20/2009

3,532

26

267

Quoting Jodi:

All I can say is th health system in the US sounds like it is really f**ked up. I don't know much about it (like how publicly or privately owned everything is), but when you have to pay that much money for insurance, there is something REALLY wrong.

Here, we pay 1.5% of our income in additional tax as a levy for public health care. This covers hospital treatments, and also allows us rebates on various other things (like doctors visits) . We can purchase additional private insurance, giving us extra options, and access to private hospitals and doctors, from about $100 a month for a family (it depends on what options you have - I pay $108 a month for hospital only cover, without access to hip replacements and pregnancy related issues, but I'm not having any more anyway, LOL).

I often complain about our health system, with 5 hour waits in emergency for non-urgent cases, lack of access to emergency facilities, waiting lists, not enough beds in the public system, but you guys are way worse off, and it makes me realise how lucky we are.


When I was carrying insurance and myself, Madeline and Cooper (thank god Josh switched jobs with great coverage), I was making about $1000 every two weeks. $400 of that went towards insurance. So that was $800 a month for the 3 of us with no health conditions. We had a $2000 deductible on each person and it covered no priscription costs. We also had a $30 co-pay at each appointment. I can only imagine what someone paid that actually wasn't deemed healthy....

Jodi - posted on 10/19/2009

3,562

36

3907

All I can say is th health system in the US sounds like it is really f**ked up. I don't know much about it (like how publicly or privately owned everything is), but when you have to pay that much money for insurance, there is something REALLY wrong.



Here, we pay 1.5% of our income in additional tax as a levy for public health care. This covers hospital treatments, and also allows us rebates on various other things (like doctors visits) . We can purchase additional private insurance, giving us extra options, and access to private hospitals and doctors, from about $100 a month for a family (it depends on what options you have - I pay $108 a month for hospital only cover, without access to hip replacements and pregnancy related issues, but I'm not having any more anyway, LOL).



I often complain about our health system, with 5 hour waits in emergency for non-urgent cases, lack of access to emergency facilities, waiting lists, not enough beds in the public system, but you guys are way worse off, and it makes me realise how lucky we are.

Join Circle of Moms

Sign up for Circle of Moms and be a part of this community! Membership is just one click away.

Join Circle of Moms