Uninsured Aurora Victim Could Face $2 Million In Medical Bills

Caleb Medley was shot in the eye in the Aurora movie theater shooting and remains in the intensive care unit in an induced coma. Medley sustained the terrible injuries only days before his wife Katie was due to give birth to a baby boy they plan to name Hugo. She now joins him in the same hospital — just one floor away — where she was set to be induced.

But even if Caleb makes a full recovery and meets his son, what happened late Friday evening at the movie theater could ruin the young family’s finances. Caleb doesn’t have health insurance, and his medical bills could amount to $2 million, according to his family.

Longtime friend Michael West has created a website to raise money for Caleb, who has been an aspiring stand-up comedian since the eighth grade. “He needs to get better because he needs to be a dad,” West said.

According to the website, Caleb performed in Denver’s biggest stand-up contest at the Comedy Works on July 18, advancing to the next round. The next night, Caleb and Katie decided to treat themselves to the midnight movie before the couple “officially” became parents.

In addition to the fundraising website, friends have set up a Facebook page dedicated to Caleb’s full recovery.

Caleb’s life will be forever altered by this unexpected and horrific event, a constant fear of many uninsured Americans. The Affordable Care Act — much of which will not be fully implemented until 2014 — extends health insurance to millions of uninsured Americans like Caleb.

Steven Perlberg is a writer for thinkprogress.org where this post was first published.

15 replies »

  1. Not to hijack this thread, but, I’d like to find an agent/advisor that was named as my parents’ retirement consultant. I’m really frustrated over this at the moment because I want to work with the same agent I am having trouble locating them in any of the local directories online. Carlton Financial Group – 106 Mission Ct #701 Franklin, TN 37067 phone (615) 794-2536 Does anyone know of an industry association or directory that I can use to search for them?

  2. brian, unless you post example I think the, “acts of criminal behavior or terrorism, or warefare” are meant for the insured being involved as a participant not as a victim.

  3. Laura wrote: “Just read that Colorado hospitals waiving fees. But the problem remains without ACA.”

  4. Brian wrote: “Go read any insurance plan out there – acts of criminal behavior or terrorism, or warefare – are not covered. EVEN if they had insurance – HEALTH policies do not cover victimology resultants. Please go back to Policy Underwriting 101 and drop the Red Herring already”

  5. I could live perfectly well without a 2nd Amendment. It was a good idea in 1789 when the population was less than 1% of today’s and the relative balance of firepower — citizens vs state — was fairly even. So, people can spare me the bucolic romanticism. Moreover, not having a 2nd Amendment does NOT imply total personal disarmament, so people can spare me that canard as well.

    You want to live in a Syria, fine. Go live there, and have fun dodging all those projectiles on a daily basis.

  6. Good one but not even remotely possible. There have been attempts to tax bullets, even that went no where by gutless politicians. The NRA is also involved in the prevention of sane animal cruelty laws. Here in NC they lobby hard against a puppy mill bill – go figure. I consider the NRA a fascist organization.

  7. p.s. it’s [beyond] time for universal coverage AND sensible gun control. just sayin’ What’s it gonna take? The sociology of mass murder in the most violent country in the industrialized world is no secret. We project onto others the very fears we ourselves possess. Some in the corporate media have made feeding this fear their primary business model.

  8. OMG, what a powerful narrative to frame his recovery in the context of health equity, access, efficacy and decency. Tweeted today:

    Tweepls, hold space in your hearts, minds, & prayers for the recovery of Caleb Medley, #Aurora victim & pending father.

    Caleb you are in my prayers as a man, and impending father.

    Gregg Masters aka @2healthguru

  9. “Any chance someone will start a fund to pay his bills?”

  10. “This shouldn’t be necessary. Health coverage should be a given. You can solicit donations to raise $2M for one well-publicized victim but that doesn’t solve the underlying problem.”