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Surprising Science

Man Robs Bank for Prison Health Care

James Verone of Gaston County, North Carolina, purposefully held up a bank for $1 so he could receive medical attention in prison. After losing several jobs, he had no health insurance.

What’s the Latest Development?

When James Verone was charged with a felony for robbing $1 from a bank, his careful planning finally paid off. The North Carolina resident had sold his furniture, paid his last months rent, gave notice and then wrote the local newspaper about his plans, listing his return address as the Gaston County Jail. A long-time Coca Cola salesman, Verone became a convenience store clerk as a last resort. The physically demanding job impaired him physically and after losing it, he lived on savings until the was completely broke. 

What’s the Big Idea?

While committing a crime to receive medical attention was not Verone’s best option—he declined the help of free clinics and as well as family support—that it is an option at all highlights the rarity that is the American health care system. Lack of universal healthcare removes government incentive to regulate the industry and keep prices at a level people can afford. The result in this case? Tax payers foot the bill for Verone’s food and lodging so he can get an x-ray and a back operation. Good grief. 


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