Man Robs Bank For $1 To Get Health Care In Jail
Republicans would like to remind you that health care isn’t a right — and maybe they are correct. But when you look at the desperate measures some people will undertake in order to get affordable care, you have to wonder why it isn’t, and if it should be.
The latest example? Richard James Verone.
In his late 50′s, with no home or job, Verone went to a local bank, handed the teller a note stating he was demanding $1, and went to sit patiently for the police to arrive to take him off to jail.
He thought it was the only way he could get his medical needs met. With a chest growth, ruptured disks and other issues, he couldn’t afford a doctor without any medical insurance.
Now he is getting his health issues straightened out, and hopes to stay behind bars until it is time to go collect social security. Unfortunately, he “stole” so little money it looks like he may go home much sooner than he anticipated, but he’s getting care while inside, which is all he really wanted.
So is Verone manipulating the system? His jail doctor says so, but Verone disagrees. “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.”
Verone is making an exchange — freedom for health care. It would seem like a stiff price to pay, but for millions who have no insurance, they are making the opposite choice, trading their health care in order to stay out of jail. They are avoiding doctors and hospitals, passing over needed treatments that they know they can never afford until they eventually have to make the desperate choice to go to a hospital and bankrupt themselves.
How can anyone in this country listen to these stories and not believe access to affordable health care should be a right for every person in this country?
(Via Think Progress)
Photo credit: Photo: http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html via Wikimedia Commons