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Saturday, December 3, 2016

Caleb and Katie Medley, from the Facebook page soliciting donations for their medical care

In the wake of yet another well-armed madman killing and maiming innocent Americans, we are again rediscovering the malign influence of the NRA (correctly described by Alan Berlow as the criminals’ lobby). But the political salience of the Aurora tragedy extends beyond the usually sterile argument over gun control.

Among the casualties there happens to be a young family whose plight illustrates another hotly debated national disgrace: the absence of universal health coverage.

In the audience that night sat Caleb Medley and his very pregnant wife Katie, who had come out for the first showing of “The Dark Knight Rises” in Aurora. Like many expecting couples, they were enjoying a last small fling, bracing for the months to come when date nights at the movies would no longer be possible. Caleb is an aspiring comedian who has worked at Wal-mart and Target, while Katie is studying to become a veterinary technician. Within a few days, the high-school sweethearts anticipated the birth of a boy, already named Hugo.

When the shooting began, Katie and her unborn son escaped, but a round hit Caleb in the head; he lost an eye and suffered some brain damage. Currently in a medically induced coma, he will remain in intensive care for at least two weeks – and in hospital for much longer. If he recovers, his hospital expenses could come to as much as $2 million, according to CBS News, which broke their story.

Added to that will be the costs of his wife’s pregnancy – unexpected but welcomed by Caleb and Katie as “a blessing” — and the delivery of their baby.

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