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.
Basically what America is doing is perpetuating a cycle of poverty. Say Person A has X amount of money, and he only qualifies for welfare with X amount of money. Now Person A is on welfare. Now, if Person A finds a way to get an income of X+1 (which is Y) dollars, he’s off welfare. But in his city, the cost of food, housing, transportation, medical health, taxes, and other basic needs, one needs Z amount of money to obtain those basic needs.
If Person A has X amount of money, he can get welfare. If Person A has Z amount of money, he can sustain himself. But what happens if Person A has Y amount of money? Mr. Verone is probably making Y amount of money.
“But if you’re unsuccessful making Y amount of money, why don’t you just stay on X?” Because the job handing out X amount of money may be dangerous, and should something happen, Mr. Verone’s insurance probably won’t help him out. Furthermore, people like Mr. Verone deserve to succeed.
Staying on welfare is a dangerous thing; you need it, but you can’t move up because there’s a disparity between X and Z. America needs to seriously get rid of the Federal Poverty Line and start using the Self Sufficiency Standard. Otherwise they’re just kidding themselves on how much of this country really is poor and people like Mr. Verone are going to have to continue doing drastic things to get help.
Which, hello? Gang violence, drugs, high school dropouts? This doesn’t happen to poor communities because they’re “lazy welfare queens”. This happens because there’s no way out. That’s why it’s called the cycle of poverty.