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October 26th, 2009
08:00 AM ET

Man joins Army to get health insurance for sick wife

One reason the health care debate has become so emotional is that for many people, it's personal.

Something like a pre-existing condition can mean the only way to get medical coverage is through your job, and in this economy, that's put some families in a tough spot.

If you lose your job, what can you do?

One man joined the Army to make sure his wife would be covered. Our Jason Carroll has their story.


Filed under: Health
soundoff (14 Responses)
  1. Thomas

    I feel sorry for this family. He did what he had to do. We do need health reform, but why not go after the real culprets of high cost.
    ? The insurance industry, they have there hands in the back pockets of the gov. officals. Cut there cost! They make millions, at our expence, and the gov. wants more taxes from us to pay for a public option. Wake up! Until we get greed out of gov. special interest groups will win the day, and the american public is screwed. I am very much afraid for our nation, and its future.

    November 1, 2009 at 8:29 am |
  2. Jim Caudle Sr. ? Bill's dad

    Thanks Theron, for commenting on "Mr. Master of Insignificants", Guy. I'm 66 years old, & sometimes it's really best to just keep it to yourself. I was in the Navy, but didn't retire from it. Us Boatswains Mates sure had fun. I sure learned the hard way over the years. I'm retired & was a structural steel fabricator, for over 35 years. I'm sure the clown named Guy is walking around some place in a skirt, & still living with his mommy & daddy. JIM CAUDLE SR. / Bill's dad.

    October 27, 2009 at 11:36 am |
  3. jay m

    This is why we need a public option.

    October 27, 2009 at 9:35 am |
  4. Linda

    My husband joined the National Guard when I was diagnosed with cancer. The day following my diagnosis, he was laid off from work, so we had no other choice. It is a sad situation to be in, but it can always be worse I guess... hang in there.

    October 26, 2009 at 7:25 pm |
  5. djak

    I empathize with this family, and I have a very similar situation as well. My husband came to America from Canada (where he didn't have to pay for health care at all), married me, and then joined the Army in order to provide health benefits for me. He is now serving in Iraq and I have to live with the fact that if anything happens to him, it is ultimately because of me.

    October 26, 2009 at 5:27 pm |
  6. GO ARMY

    Get real. CNN is trying to spin this story as a desparate cry for help, when it is nothing more than a family making an employment decision based on the benefits offered by the prospective employer. Ask most of the personnel in the military and they will tell you that one of the key reasons they joined is for the benefits. That is how your story should have been titled, "Husband Joins Military for Benefits and to Satisfy Life Long Dream to be in the Army." There is a reason Fox is winning the ratings war. CNN has lost objectivity and is spinning stories to meet an agenda.

    October 26, 2009 at 1:39 pm |
  7. Guy

    The story is very sad and touching, but is sad to know that this man finally decides to defend his country after 8+ years of war. Now that he needs the country to help him he is welling to defend and do anything for it?is HE?Or the truth is that he just wants insurance for his wife's medicals problems? I say send him overseas and make him earn the insurance coverage doing something he should had been doing 8 years ago.

    October 26, 2009 at 1:23 pm |
    • Theron

      US Navy War Veteran Speaking: So you are saying he should have joined 8 years ago and that he and his wife don't deserve health care cause he didn't join earlier? You better ask God for forgiveness for that last statement! Respect Life or you are just as worst as Death Row Inmates!

      October 26, 2009 at 5:03 pm |
  8. Mike A.

    This is a full out war on our less fortunate in this country. I feel sorry for this family. Instead of dad being able to stay home and take care of mom, he now has to go and fight an unjust war thousand's of miles away. The rich don't want to give us good paying jobs with good benefits, now they are making us fight their oil wars to make them more money. Disposable soldiers lured in by the promise of mediocre health care and a welfare check with food stamps as a suppliment, someone should go to prison for this.

    October 26, 2009 at 12:20 pm |
  9. Carole

    This story is so heartbreaking..........yet and still you have the insurance companies funding the racist slanted tea party express up again.

    How can anyone not be for reforming health care? I don't care what party you are from, you must note that the entire time the GOP had control nothing was done. Just like nothing was done about sending m ore troops to Afghanistan with papers sitting on the White House President Bush and VP Cheney desks.

    Is anyone tired of how honest hard working Americans are being used like pawns by the greedy 1% who needs to pay their share of taxes?

    October 26, 2009 at 10:55 am |
  10. Erika

    While I sympathize with thier situation, it makes me disgusted to think that the healthcare industry has gotten so low that people feel that they have to join the miltary to provide healthcare for their families. We are in the middle of a war and this guy will more than likely have to deploy and then leave his wife and kids alone for a year. I have been a military wife for 6 1/2 years and i have two kids with chronic health issues and it does scare me that when my husbands time is up, my kids wont be covered because of a preexisting condition. I was in the Army for a short time and I would go back if it came down to it for the health care coverage for my kids. It makes you wonder if it wouldn't be better if we had the universal coverage that they are trying to push through in Congress. Then people wouldn't be forced to put themselves in these kind of situations. This guy is putting himself in a potiently deadly situation if he gets deployed and it all could have been avoided if we all could get unviseral coverage. I appulade him for doing all that he is for his family and I wish that he could have joined for different reasons. to his wife, welcome to Army wives and I wish you the best. There is support there for you–just ask. My best for you and your family.

    October 26, 2009 at 10:43 am |
  11. Jim Caudle Sr. / Bill Caudle's dad

    Good morning Mr. Carroll. I really want to thank everyone for bring my son Bill & Michelle's story out there. I'm sure there's a lot more stories, very similar, but maybe it'll help wake up all this countries health insurance issues. I'm very proud of Bill's decision. I am concerned about the wars going on. PLEASE don't contact me except for maybe some kinda comment, because I'm pretty sick myself. I had chemo therapy from Jan. 2008, thru July 2008 for Hodgkin's Lymphoma, worked out very well, I was clear until about July 2009, but it's back & I'm fighting it again. I couldn't make it to Wisc. for Bill's going away party, couldn't travel 350 miles, being so sick. I'm going to be 66 in Feb. 2010, & don't really know about my future. My situation is like a pimple on an elephants butt compared to what Michelle has been going thru since 2006. Do you think Arlen Specter has any good ideas about my cancer, he's had it a couple of times too. If you see him, tell the ole' geezer to e-mail me. Jim Caudle Sr.

    October 26, 2009 at 8:58 am |
  12. Kellie I

    I think the story about the man who enlisted in the Army is quite ironic. Although touching, because of the cancer aspect it is not uncommon at all. As an Army wife myself, I know MANY of our soldiers enlist, or re-enlist, because of the benefits the military has to offer. Just like everyone else, they weigh out the pros and cons of the field they choose. For some providing their family with the secutiry of benefits and a regular paycheck is worth risking their lives for. People have been choosing that option for generations.

    October 26, 2009 at 8:13 am |
  13. Wayne

    The story is quite touching. I as a former Navy Vet, at 61 years old do not have that kind of option. I, if allowed would have gladly served as much as two years just to get steady work. I live in the Newark, DE area. The home state of our Vice President. We have been hit with two major Auto Plant closings as well as Major Bank Bailouts. We are suffering. We work part-time jobs to make about a third of what is needed for a full-time pay. Every month is like slipping down the side of a snow bank.

    Thank GOD no one is sick.

    October 26, 2009 at 8:13 am |