This man, James Verone, robbed a bank for one dollar. Why only one dollar? Because he knew that in prison he could get the medical care he could not afford with his part time salary as a convenience store clerk. He was approved for food stamps, but they did little to help his finances. Between his back problems, carpel tunnel, and arthritis, he simply couldn’t handle the pain any longer.
On June 9th, he sent a letter to his local paper, the Gaston Gazette, that stated: “When you receive this a bank robbery will have been committed by me. this robbery is being committed by me for one dollar. I am of sound mind but not so much sound body.”
He then took a cab to the RBC Bank, and handed the teller a note asking for one dollar and medical attention. He quietly took a seat in the lobby and waited for police to arrive.
Since Verone only stole one dollar, he was only charged with larceny. His bail, which he doesn’t plan to pay is set at $2,000, reduced from the normal $100,000. He’s scheduled to see a doctor this Friday, and hopes to get foot surgery, back surgery and to have a protrusion on his check treated.
To me, this is the perfect example of how disturbingly corrupt and unjust our health care system has become under HMO’s. For this man, or any person for that matter, feels that he needs to be imprisoned just to see a doctor, is ridiculous.
This is exactly what I hate about America. Why is it that you can buy an entire house with money you don’t have, but still can’t apply for health care if you don’t meet the requirements? That’s messed up.
“Verone handed a bank teller a note demanding a single dollar and claiming to have a gun. The teller who received his perplexing request made a frantic 911 call, and was later taken to Gaston Memorial Hospital for high blood pressure, according to local reports. Verone is said to be sorry for causing her any pain.”
“…the charge Verone faces for the June 9 heist, larceny from a person, is unlikely to keep him behind bars for more than 12 months. He is being held in Gaston County Jail, where he has already been seen by several nurses, on a $2,000 bond and is scheduled to appear in court June 28. And if his sentence is too short, Verone said he plans to rob again.” [x]
“ The Washington Post reports that, according to the inmates handbook, prisoners in North Carolina typically only have to pay a $5 to $7 co-payment for most visits or emergencies.
…lawmakers should realize that when Americans are willing to trade in their freedom for healthcare, they may stoop to more desperate measures than holding up banks for a buck. “ [x]