A Womelsdorf couple may be ending their 41 years of marriage, all because of a health care law.
Kerry DeTemple said an on-the-job injury in the late 1980s caused him to have multiple operations on his knee and other parts of his body. Through it all, his wife has been by his side.
"We've been married 41 years. Who can take care of me better than a spouse?" said DeTemple. "Walking weird, walking with canes and crutches, braces and I had all kinds of stuff. It just premature, the arthritis."
DeTemple said his physical ailments have left him practically crippled. He said his condition has allowed him to receive aid through the state's Act 150 waiver by hiring a caregiver paid for by the state.
Up until a few months ago, DeTemple said, his daughter did that job. As his condition worsened, DeTemple said he wanted his wife to assume that role; however, that's not allowed under Act 150.
"The only way my spouse can be my caregiver is if we get a divorce," said DeTemple, adding that he has sought help from various state agencies, lawmakers and Gov. Tom Corbett's office.
Anne Bale, a spokeswoman for the state's Department of Public Welfare, told 69 News that the department has been in contact with DeTemple over the past year.
"We don't have the ability to make exceptions for him. No one at the department has encouraged Mr. DeTemple to divorce his wife," said Bale.
"I know people that have gotten divorces and have given up their homes and everything to do this, and I don't think it's right. I think it's totally wrong," said DeTemple.
Divorce, DeTemple said, would also jeopardize the relationship he and his wife have with their church.