A local North Carolina news site 9News has posted an unusual story about James Verone, who robbed an RBC bank on Thursday of last week. Being unarmed, he just walked up to a teller at a Gastonia, N.C. bank and handed her a note that said: “This is a bank robbery, please only give me one dollar.” Then he sat down and waited for police arrival. Afterwards Verone told reporters: “I say, ‘I’ll be sitting right over here, on the chair, waiting for the police.'”
But the reasons for such strange actions cleared up afterwards. He said he had done it for medical reasons. Verone has such health problems as a growth on his chest, two ruptured discs and a problem with his left foot. At 59 years old, no job and a depleted bank account, he cosidered the jail to be the best place he could go for medical care and a roof over his head. Verone hopes for a three-year sentence.
Verone was charged with larceny. Courtney Boyd Myers at The Next Web notes James Verone’s plot indicates a flawed medical system.He comments this situation: “As his fellow American, I have to say, our national health care is in a very sad state.” Though Verone says he’s receiving care up to the quality he expected, Slate reported that health care in prison is at best as good as a low-income health plan and at worst, almost nonexistent.
Slate stated: “The majority of ailments are treated on-site, but inmates who are gravely ill can be taken to the nearest hospital. Sick prisoners must make a nominal co-payment for each visit to the jailhouse doctor—usually $5 or so, taken from an hourly wage that typically runs between 19 cents and 40 cents an hour. Costs above that are covered by the state.”
Then added:”It’s been more then a year since President Obama signed landmark health care reform legislation. The bill was designed to provide health insurance to millions of Americans who currently lack it. But one year later, the number of uninsured remains roughly the same. That’s largely because most of the bill’s major elements aren’t due to be implemented for another three years.”
This month, Republican governors fought against federal rules requiring states to maintain current levels of health-care coverage for the poor and disabled. There is also an effort, spearheaded by Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wisconsin) to change Medicare from a government run program to a voucher system. Critics of the plan said it would mean seniors would have to pay more out of pocket for care.
Verone told ABC News:”I’m sort of a logical person and that was my logic, what I came up with. If it is called manipulation, then out of necessity because I need medical care, then I guess I am manipulating the courts to get medical care.” Because Verone was charged with larceny, not armed robbery, he will likely only be in jail for less than 12 months. His next court date is June 28. [via Third age, ABC News, The Next Web and 9News]