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Shame on America and it’s health care woes

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It is sad day when a man chooses to rob a bank in order to go to prison to receive health care

James Richard Vernone of North Carolina put 17 years of work into Coca-Cola, following “the rules” by being a productive member of society, only to be laid off three years ago.  After his layoff, he did not just sit around trying to live off of unemployment, he found employment – during the time when our economy was collapsing – as a convenience store clerk.  He understood it was a job, while many Americans snub their noses at such unemployment, and did what he had to do to bring in a paycheck.

However, like many businesses and jobs, health care was either non-existent, or too expensive based upon income to purchase.  I’ve been there, I know.

Eventually, he developed arthritis and carpal tunnel syndrome, and noticed a large protrusion in his chest – the pain soon become intolerable to unbearable.  After being denied disability by our government, he made a very difficult decision – one of which he felt he had not choice to do – and robbed a bank for one dollar in order to receive health care.

It was a very passive robbery by simply passing a note to the teller, then waiting quietly and patiently for the police to arrive.

What’s sick is it costs the taxpayer a whole heckuva lot more to incarcerate someone than to just give them the healthcare they need. Between stories like this and the millions of people who get their primary care in emergency rooms, we would be spending WAY less if we just provided basic universal coverage. Why is that so hard for people to grasp?

When people say “why should I pay for someone else’s healthcare?” I tell them “You already are!  You’d just be paying a lot less if we had a single payer system!”

And for those who argue on a tangent that our prisons are luxurious and we “spoil” our inmates….  I suggest you go stay in one for a while then give us your report post-incarceration.  I will be you’ll be singing to another tune then.  That is, IF you make it out alive….

Mr Verone is now receiving medical care – which is minimal in lock-up, but better than none.  The doctor is accusing him of manipulating the system, to which he responds, “If it’s called manipulation, then out of necessity because I need medical care, then I guess I am.”  Talk about manipulation… how about those people like the Koch Brothers who spend millions of dollars in lobbying to control what our elected officials do… These are the people who vehemently oppose public health care.

The United States is the only wealthy country that does not offer comprehensive universal health care to every citizen; in no other rich country would anyone be faced with such a choice that Mr Verone was forced to make.

Shame on us… Shame on the Tea Party/GOP’s… and shame on the insurance companies for putting gross amounts of profit above the purpose of your business… to supply medical treatment for those in need.


  1. I agree with the premise of your article, but find a problem with one of your assumptions. You state we are all paying for someones health care in the current system. Would, that that were true! Both in the current system and in those proposed, single payer, government paid etc… Along with the altruistic promise is the aligned intent that it is not to be paid by everyone. It is to be paid, all by, or disproportionalty by, those that can afford health care.

    I am not defending, nor detracting from the argument that people of means should pay more. I am saying one of the problems with getting such legislation forward is this canard. This argument undercuts the forward motion on truly addressing our health care non-system and the underlying faults – none of which the current legislation addresses.

    We need to find a pragmatic solution for a working health care supply chain.

    • Ultimately, where our health care stands, I don’t believe there is any “perfect” solution. It has evolved to a state of complete chaos. In order to repair the damages, it will take time, and there will be people will not like the changes but we do need change. I have been through excellent health care, without health, and now… moderate (at best) health care – which I just finally picked up as my company finally has enough employees to opt for it. I have had insurance companies discharge me from the hospital rather then the doctor. I have been denied care, etc. There are some items which work wonderfully under capitalism, but I don’t believe health care should. Whatever the answer is, I most certainly do not have it. And the person that does have the answer to fixing our health care system most certainly deserves the nirvana of their choice when they pass.

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