In the US, People Rob Banks to Try to Get Affordable Healthcare

From the GastonGazette:

Not his first choice, Verone became a convenience store clerk. But the bending, standing and lifting were too much for him. The Gastonia man’s back ached; problems with his left foot caused him to limp. His knuckles swelled from arthritis, and carpal tunnel syndrome made daily tasks difficult.

Then he noticed a protrusion on his chest.

Strapped for cash, Verone looked into filing for disability. He applied for early Social Security.

The only thing Verone qualified for was food stamps. The extra money helped, but he felt desperate. He needed to get medical attention, and he refused to be a burden on his sister and brothers.

“The pain was beyond the tolerance that I could accept,” he said. “I kind of hit a brick wall with everything.”

Last resort

A couple of months ago Verone started weighing his options.

He considered turning to a homeless shelter and seeking medical help through charitable organizations.

Then he had another idea: commit a crime and get set up with a place to stay, food and doctors.

He started planning.

As his bank account depleted and the day of execution got closer, Verone sold and donated his furniture. He paid his last month’s rent and gave his notice.

He moved into the Hampton Inn for the last couple of days. Then on June 9 he followed his typical morning routine of getting ready for the day.

He took a cab down New Hope Road and picked a bank at random — RBC Bank.

Verone didn’t want to scare anyone. He executed the robbery the most passive way he knew how.

He handed the teller a note demanding one dollar, and medical attention.

“I didn’t have any fears,” said Verone. “I told the teller that I would sit over here and wait for police.”

The teller, however, did have some fears even though Verone never showed a weapon.

Her blood pressure shot up and once Verone was handcuffed by police, the teller was taken to Gaston Memorial Hospital to be checked out.

Verone said he was sorry for causing the woman any pain.

(via J-Walk)

14 Comments

    1. New signs at the tellers: “No mask, no metal weapon, no medical”

      … or “You must steal at least $100 to be arrested”

    1. According to the reports I’ve read, he demanded (and received) just one dollar. So I don’t think that counts in this case.

  1. Personally, I’m glad someone finally made national news doing this (it’s not the first time, really). Someone asked why he doesn’t apply for Medicaid. He is not eligible because he’s under 65 and has no dependent children. There are tons of people in their 50s with health problems and no way to afford health insurance (it is VERY expensive for this age group). If you are in your 50s and don’t have a set of modern skills, you will not find work in this tight market. Even for the rare healthy strong 50-year-old, a physical labor job rarely comes with any health insurance. If you are lucky enough to live to 65, you can get Medicare, and Medicaid to supplement if you are poor enough. But not at age 61 or younger.

    So you’re sick? Go get a job!

    I am 52 and have no health insurance. I just cross my fingers that my aches and pains aren’t anything important between now and 2014.

    1. He should be able to qualify for Medicaid. You don’t have to have dependent children, just a very low income. Perhaps there is more to the story than meets the eye. I guess medicaid won’t pay for food and rent as well–things he’ll get for “free” in jail.

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