My new favorite American health care plan
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- last active 20 days ago
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From Yahoo News
- Started by
- at June 21, 2011, 22:30:13
- last active 20 days ago
Tue Jun 21, 10:36 am ET
Man robs bank to get medical care in jail
By Zachary Roth
Some people who need medical care but can't afford it go to the emergency room. Others just hope they'll get better. James Richard Verone robbed a bank.
Earlier this month, Verone, a 59-year-old convenience store clerk, walked into a Gaston, N.C., bank and handed the cashier a note demanding $1 and medical attention. Then he waited calmly for police to show up.
He's now in jail and has an appointment with a doctor this week.
Verone's problems started when he lost the job he'd held for 17 years as a Coca Cola deliveryman, amid the economic downturn. He found new work driving a truck, but it didn't last. Eventually, he took a part-time position at the convenience store.
But Verone's body wasn't up to it. The bending and lifting made his back ache. He had problems with his left foot, making him limp. He also suffered from carpal tunnel syndrome and arthritis.
Then he noticed a protrusion on his chest. "The pain was beyond the tolerance that I could accept," Verone told the Gaston Gazette. "I kind of hit a brick wall with everything."
Verone knew he needed help--and he didn't want to be a burden on his sister and brothers. He applied for food stamps, but they weren't enough either.
So he hatched a plan. On June 9, he woke up, showered, ironed his shirt. He mailed a letter to the Gazette, listing the return address as the Gaston County Jail.
"When you receive this a bank robbery will have been committed by me," Verone wrote in the letter. "This robbery is being committed by me for one dollar. I am of sound mind but not so much sound body."
Then Verone hailed a cab to take him to the RBC Bank. Inside, he handed the teller his $1 robbery demand.
"I didn't have any fears," said Verone. "I told the teller that I would sit over here and wait for police."
The teller was so frightened that she had to be taken to the hospital to be checked out. Verone, meanwhile, was taken to jail, just as he'd planned it.
Because he only asked for $1, Verone was charged with larceny, not bank robbery. But he said that if his punishment isn't severe enough, he plans to tell the judge that he'll do it again. His $100,000 bond has been reduced to $2,000, but he says he doesn't plan to pay it.
In jail, Verone said he skips dinner to avoid too much contact with the other inmates. He's already seen some nurses and is scheduled to see a doctor on Friday. He said he's hoping to receive back and foot surgery, and get the protrusion on his chest treated. Then he plans to spend a few years in jail, before getting out in time to collect Social Security and move to the beach.
Verone also presented the view that if the United States had a health-care system which offered people more government support, he wouldn't have had to make the choice he did.
"If you don't have your health you don't have anything," Verone said.
The Affordable Care Act, President Obama's health-care overhaul passed by Congress last year, was designed to make it easier for Americans in situations like Verone's to get health insurance. But most of its provisions don't go into effect until 2014.
As it is, Verone said he thinks he chose the best of a bunch of bad options. "I picked jail."
- Johnny Karp wrote:
Shocking... I've heard about people wanting to get arrested during the winter just to have a warm place to stay but all those stories were from poor countries, not the mighty US of A...
I've heard that too.
A bed, shower and 3 squares a day.... sounds a bit better than the streets, especially in the winter.
- You can also go to college at a lot of prisons, and can certainly learn several trades, attend counseling for a variety of issues, have friends come and visit and at some places, play sports or put on a rodeo. You earn wages on your work, maybe a new set of clothes and a bus ticket when you leave. If you leave.
"Today, most of the good people are afraid to be good. They strive to be broadminded and tolerant. It is fashionable to be tolerant but mostly tolerant of evil and this new code has reached the proportions of demanding intolerance of good."
I will recall talking with my doctor after my heart attack. I hesitated for 2-3 minutes before calling 911. He said had I waited 2 minutes more I wouldn't have been able to call 911.
- Replied by
- at June 23, 2011, 00:18:55
- last active about 1 month ago
I am sorry this has had to occur. I personally would not mind paying another 5% in income tax for this. But knowing the govt, it'll be a boondoggle with many paying, but some still not being treated.
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