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False incentives

An american without health insurance robbed a bank pro forma because he hoped to get pain treatment while in prison

On 9. In june, james richard verone walked up to the counter of a random rbc bank in gaston county and handed the teller a note saying this was a robbery and to give him a dollar. He then announced he was going to sit down in the patron area and wait for the police – which he did.

Verone is not an action artist. The background to his crime is that the 59-year-old suffers from, among other things, carpal tunnel syndrome, a lump on his chest and severe back pain. And because he lost his job after 17 years as a beverage delivery driver for the soft drink manufacturer coca cola, and because other professional attempts failed (also due to his health problems), he can no longer afford to seek medical treatment due to a lack of health insurance.

The american applied for welfare, but was only given food stamps. After much deliberation and consideration of medical offers from private aid organizations and homeless shelters, he came to the conclusion that the only way to finance relief from his ailments would be a longer stay in prison.

Immediately before committing his crime, he sent a letter to the local newspaper gaston gazette explaining his motive and saying he was "in good mental health, but in less good physical health". The pro forma robbery, verone later said, had brought him into conflict with the law for the first time in his life, and he felt bad about it – but the pain, which felt like he was being slammed into a wall with rough force, had left him no choice.

Apparently, the pain was also so severe that the threat of sexual and other violence in american prisons could no longer scare him. Nevertheless, in the gaston county jail, where he sits in a cell with a computer thief, he stays away from other prisoners as much as possible, even foregoing lunch because he had to spend four hours with people who openly brag about their willingness to fall back.

The other serious disadvantage of being in prison, the difficulty of finding a job as a person with a criminal record, can no longer hurt verone because he is too sick to find a job anyway. After his entlang and two surgeries in prison he hopes to apply for pension. Retirees in the u.S. Receive a government health care cost subsidy through the medicare system that covers a relatively broad range of benefits.

At his trial, verone won’t defend himself in the traditional sense, but he will read a statement. In the event that he is not sentenced or is sentenced to too short a prison term, he has already announced that he will repeat his robbery.

In custody, the cruel man told a reporter from the local tv station wcnc and the public that he was not a political man – but if there was universal health insurance in the usa, then he certainly did not have to carry out the deed. The situation of not having such universal health insurance has only changed to a very limited extent, even with the health care reform passed last year: currently, 16 percent of americans are still uninsured.

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