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June 21st, 2011
11:47 AM ET

Man says he robbed bank to get health care

A man walks into a bank and slips a note to the teller.

The note reads: “This is a bank robbery. Please only give me one dollar.”

Then the man tells the bank employees, “I’ll be sitting right over there in the chair waiting for the police."

He perches himself on a chair outside the bank he just robbed and waits for the police to arrive.

That suspect, James Verone, who is from Gaston County, North Carolina, told CNN affiliate WCNC that he robbed a bank for $1 for the sole reason of getting in jail so he could get free health care. He was not armed during the robbery.

Verone, 59, told WCNC he doesn’t have health insurance, but has a host of medical problems: A growth on his chest, two ruptured disks and a problem with his left foot.  Without a job and money, he reached the conclusion that going to jail would mean free medical care (although it's not free for taxpayers).

“I wanted to make it known that this wasn't for monetary reasons, but for medical reasons," Verone said.  His jailhouse interview with the station is above.

The logic, he told the news station, was to get a three-year sentence so he can get out of jail then collect Social Security and then later live in a Myrtle Beach condo.

Verone told his local paper, The Gaston Gazette that he had worked as a delivery man for Coca-Cola for 17 years.  That career ended three years ago, and he couldn’t find steady employment.  Then the medical problems began.  He lived off his savings and sought a part-time job.

The police charged him with larceny, not bank robbery, because of the $1 amount he demanded at the bank. Verone told his hometown paper if the jail penalty isn’t great enough, the crime will happen again.

Verone told WCNC, "I guess I am manipulating the courts to get medical care."

Is Verone’s story an example of one man gaming the system or a product of a flawed health care in America? Sound off below.


soundoff (1,430 Responses)
  1. Nick

    Healthcare should be more about the health of a person and not about the money. To be a health care professional...it costs a lot to go to school of course....but give these people the greatest tax breaks ever and help them out financially. Instead of giving all the breaks to insurance....it would shift it over and pay the provider for providing the work.
    Sad reality though....you know how fiscally stupid it would be to cure a disease. Its much better financially to make products that just make the problems feel less and prolong the need to use that drug.
    I for one....like Canada's approach.

    June 21, 2011 at 17:07 | Report abuse | Reply
    • bob

      Govt should start and run medical colleges and each one garduating out of these colleges should serve the country for 2-3 yrs which would make the graduate to be free from huge student loan and in a way would help the community with their work.

      Build a Govt Run Hospital in every County and provide cheap care to contain the private Insurance companies. It may sound like a communist but we don't have many alternates. When the care is good and cheap in Govt hospitals, people would choose that and eventually the private insurance companies to survice will bring their cost and bonus down.

      June 21, 2011 at 17:32 | Report abuse |
    • QM

      Honestly? This might be me someday. I can afford healthcare... I can actually afford to pay a large premium even..the problem is I have been turned down by every single health insurance company out there. I do not smoke, drink (well maybe 3-4 times a year I'll have a margarita night with the girls), I am not obese or even overweight, I am of healthy weight. I exercise regularly to keep myself as healthy as I can but because I have a pre-existing condition, not a single insurance company will cover me.

      June 21, 2011 at 17:56 | Report abuse |
    • Nelson

      very well spoken! i saw the video and almost broke down crying instantly....its ashame that people don't really care about others.

      June 21, 2011 at 18:01 | Report abuse |
    • phil israel

      here in nc an inmate has a right to top medical care they get it by law

      June 21, 2011 at 18:06 | Report abuse |
  2. Thomas Cain

    Look what the Republicans gave us instead of "Hillary Care"~ Yay Republicans!

    June 21, 2011 at 17:08 | Report abuse | Reply
    • JV

      Thomas, normally I would agree with you, however, it is the fault of both sides. I do comment Obama for trying yet it does fall vastly short of what is needed. I am not sure the government can realistically offer what is needed. As long as Health care is a for profit system it will never work.

      June 21, 2011 at 18:46 | Report abuse |
  3. Nathan Williams

    We have many ingorant people that think it's just the Republicans' fault. How about the cost of healthcare? It should be nowhere close to as high as it is, but it is those democrat, republican, independent, communist, socialist, etc. lawyers that sue anybody and everybody because the law allows it, and the lawmakers that won't write legislature against lawsuits, that has dramatically increased the cost of healthcare. THAT is why healthcare has gotten so expensive in this country, and why we cannot afford to provide it for "free" to all citizens.

    June 21, 2011 at 17:08 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Cautious

      Show me one objective study that says that malpractice claims are the main reason for – or even more than a tinge of a reason – for the increase in health care costs. This is just propaganda by those who are against real health care reform. I'll tell you what – let's do a test. Let's pick two comparable states and do true health care reform (single payer with private insurance supplements, like Canada, Europe and the rest of the western world, with true cost containment measures) in one and outlaw all malpractice suits in the other, but otherwise leave the broken medical system in place. I'll bet you anything that the state with true health care reforms wins hands down on costs. But of course, in this bizarre political climate, the state which cares for all its people with true reforms would be socialist.

      June 21, 2011 at 17:19 | Report abuse |
    • davec

      Very well put. Simple, Honest, NO SPIN!

      June 21, 2011 at 17:19 | Report abuse |
    • Dearypie

      Actually that is usually the conservatives views on malpractice. They argue this point because it reduces profit (marginally) on insurance providers. The REAL reason for high cost in health care is due to the fact that a small amount of the population mostly older are requiring more medical care that is costly. Baby boomers are retiring and making those numbers grow along with those people who have chronic healthcare problems. The lack of research and dispensations of active ways to "cure" diseases rather than just managing them also adds to the problem. In the end, the medical society (insurance companies, drug companies, etc.) find it more profitable, even if it is more expensive to maintain on the public.

      June 21, 2011 at 17:30 | Report abuse |
    • Martha

      The man is just plain lazy....................there's free care all over the place AND free food. He simply wants to join the jail crew for another to bleed services off the working people of America...he's too f___king lazy to wait in line for free services.

      June 21, 2011 at 17:31 | Report abuse |
    • M.

      Malpractice suits make for a tiny, tiny part of the healthcare cost. Let's not chase red herrings.

      June 21, 2011 at 17:35 | Report abuse |
    • Steve

      The truth is legal expenses and the threat of lawsuits account for a very small percentage of total health care costs. The reason why health care costs are so expensive is the Federal Government subsidizes health care costs of everyone who gets medical insurance through their employer plus Medicaid and Medicare recipients. As a result, the demand for health care services is much higher than it would be if everyone who could afford to simply purchased health insurance privately and directly from health insurers.

      June 21, 2011 at 17:42 | Report abuse |
    • Tom

      It is not just the Malpractice Lawsuits that drive up the cost. It is the fear of Malpractice Lawsuits that creates the need to do excessive testing just to ensure that there is no Malpractice Lawsuits. Dr's are forced to perform unneccessary test and procedures to make sure they cover ever possible issue regardless of the benefit of said test.

      June 21, 2011 at 18:08 | Report abuse |
    • get real cautious!!!!

      Come one, Cautious. We don't need some damned expensive study to prove that malpractice suits are driving up healthcare costs. Any 12 year old can figure that out. When OB/GYN doctors are changing specialties due to the cost of their malpractice insurance, how do you think the ones who keep practicing are paying those premiums? By charging more. So the health insurance companies have to pay more, and of course that means we pay higher premiums. And WE the patients pay for all the malpractice claims through this in the end. I personally know several doctors, and many are opting for early retirement to escape a collapsing healthcare system. The private insurance industry and out of control lawsuits are killing it slowly but surely. Remember when even your family doctor was considered a wealthy man in town? Well take a look around. Sure, they're not hurting, but they don't drive the best cars in town any longer - the lawyers do. And don't forget the trickle down through the rest of the industry. What lawyers make the most? Personal injury lawyers. And what do they sue over? Bodily harm, be it auto accident, malpractice, etc. So when they win $100k for whiplash, the auto insurance company pays, and all our car insurance premiums go up. Almost every business you deal with maintains liability insurance, and the bulk of retail businesses (groceries, banks, restaurants, etc) have their highest liabilities where? That's right, personal injury. Slip and fall, etc. So the average business pays a much higher premium as a percentage of gross these days than they did 20 years ago. And of course they pay those higher premiums by jacking up the prices WE pay. Our broken legal system makes every single thing we buy cost more. Solutions? There's a bunch: limit liability payouts via some sort of formula, such as a multiplier of projected or real earning over the period the victim suffers plus their actual costs. And the BEST fix? Fine lawyers for filing frivolous lawsuits. There are THOUSANDS of frivolous suits filed every week, suits these lawyers know good and well are ridiculous and meritless. But they know a good number of them will be settled before it even gets to a judge, because big business and insurance companies know that even if the case gets thrown out or they win, it will cost them more in legal fees to fight than just paying a settlement. So they pay. But if these companies knew that a dismissal or a win would result in the other lawyer having to reimburse their costs, they would fight these stupid suits. And it wouldn't take many of these before the ambulance chasers would back off and only sue for solid reasons. The bad lawyers should be held responsible, not the client, because it is the responsibility of the lawyers to understand the law. And as it stands currently, they understand all they have to do is file certain cases against certain companies, and a settlement check will be on the way. Then they keep 30-40%.

      June 21, 2011 at 22:08 | Report abuse |
  4. GotThumbs

    I guess He should have waited for the great OBAMA health care fix.....oh wait. It didn't really fix anything. Obama was arrogant when he commented that the US doesn't need to look at Canada health care system for ideas. Obama has to be the dumbest president we've had. A 1,000 page bill and it fails to come up with a solution other than.....require US residents to purchase health care. We need to scrap the current so-called 'health care bill' and start with a simple approach. We need national health care for those who do not receive it through their employers. Forget about private insurance companies. This is a humanitarian need. A national sales tax of ~2% needs to be setup so every person within the US boarders contributes to the national healthcare fund. This program will cover all who are not provided health care through their employer. If you are laid-off, then you can use the system. The key is that everyone will be contributing to the system...rich, poor, legal and illegal residents. Even tourists will contribute to a true national health care system.

    June 21, 2011 at 17:11 | Report abuse | Reply
    • bashaleebee

      Oh wait again ... congress wouldn't allow Obama's plan to pass. Personally, I was more for Hilary's health care plan ... which is even more "liberal" or would that be more "socialist". So let's stop Obamacare and allow Health Insurance companies to go back to declining customer's based on pre-existing illness.

      June 21, 2011 at 17:24 | Report abuse |
    • Nate

      great idea, I was waiting for someone to take advantage of the system. Soon homeless people will figure it out also. Free meals,shelter and AC.

      June 21, 2011 at 17:28 | Report abuse |
    • talbotjt7

      Wow... You have to be the most ill informed person I've read a comment from in a long time. Please do some actual research for yourself (not FOX news) before you blather on and on about which you know nothing based in fact.

      June 21, 2011 at 17:33 | Report abuse |
    • Acerman

      All countries that have gov't run plans have very rigid caps on what procedures and drugs should cost. As the republicans have stated they will not endorse any price controls on healthcare, then any US national healthplan is doomed to fail. Unfortunately.

      June 21, 2011 at 17:47 | Report abuse |
    • Pat

      talbotjt7, you bash the person for being ill informed and not doing research, but do not say which points are wrong, or disprove them. Figure it out, get better.

      June 21, 2011 at 20:48 | Report abuse |
  5. felton

    There comes a time when a man of his house have to tighten the belt, no cable, no cell phone, no eating out, go to the library and other locations for the free wifi, turn the a.c. up to 79, and change eating habits at home,,, all in order to make life adjustments to financial issues.

    Similarly, The U.S. has to cut off the entire world, stop giving $1 dollar if 1 American can't pay for health care or can't afford to pay their bills. The U.S. have to stop spending on two wars, bring them all home to save money, no more money given to any country at all. Close bases in all countries if they are not paying us to be there, cut all funding to the U.N., it's time to let the adults in other countries lead or fall.

    We can build and repair infrastructure to create jobs for the poor, create programs like the U.S. Anti Flooding System to create jobs in each state, put people back to work, and allow people to earn the money that we are no long giving to the world. The world understands.
    Anti Flooding System: http://www.askfmb.com/Newsfiles/antifloodsystem.html

    June 21, 2011 at 17:11 | Report abuse | Reply
    • GotThumbs

      Agreed,

      We need to stop funding other countries infrastructure and focus on our own. Help others when you can, but not to the sacrifice of your own family.

      June 21, 2011 at 17:14 | Report abuse |
    • M.

      We are currently the richest country in the world. We give 0.8% (that is zero point eight) percent of governmental income to the rest of the world.

      So we should say "Yes we are the richest and the most powerful, but we can't afford to give 0.8% of our money to feed the hungry and heal the sick?"

      Perhaps I'm naive, but I don't think that would help us, while it would certainly make us seem like greedy idiots. And also, it would cause even more instability in the world, remove a source of goodwill towards America and create even more hatred. The result is that we would end up having to spend the money on security anyway.

      This is another red herring. Let's not chase it.

      June 21, 2011 at 17:39 | Report abuse |
    • Kathy R.

      Completely agree. We need to take care of our own country and people as well as all of the problems that we have at home before going outside of the borders. We need to get people working on the infrastructure: Dams, highways, bridges, railroads...all in dire need of repair. If you put people to work, they will have money to spend. They will spend it on dinners out, necessities that are required, and buy houses eventually. It's all a large cycle. Without jobs, there will be no recovery. But, let's get back to the story here. This man wants to go to prison because he needs health care. I totally understand what he did and why he did. I have always said if things got bad....go and commit a crime (not to hurt anyone or anything..but just enough to go to jail). You will get free room and board, free medical and education. The prisoners have more rights then the normal law-abiding, taxpayers in this country. Is something wrong with this picture? You bet there is.

      June 21, 2011 at 17:39 | Report abuse |
    • Aleks

      M. What are you talking about this country in big hole 14,000,000,000,000

      June 21, 2011 at 20:58 | Report abuse |
  6. GotThumbs

    We need to scrap the current so-called 'health care bill' and start with a simple approach. We need national health care for those who do not receive it through their employers. Forget about private insurance companies. This is a humanitarian need. A national sales tax of ~2% needs to be setup so every person within the US boarders contributes to the national healthcare fund. This program will cover all who are not provided health care through their employer. If you are laid-off, then you can use the system. The key is that everyone will be contributing to the system...rich, poor, legal and illegal residents. Even tourists will contribute to a true national health care system.

    June 21, 2011 at 17:12 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Joe

      So you tax the poor again, who spend 100% of their income on basic needs, so will pay the 2% tax. Meanwhile, the rich will pay .0000001% of their income. Regressive taxes are NOT the answer to an already struggling middle and lower class, idiot.

      June 21, 2011 at 17:52 | Report abuse |
    • Pat

      Joe, they are saying a sales tax. So if Bill Gates spends a million bucks on a cool yacht, then he gets taxed 2%, just like if I spend $5 on milk, i get taxed 2%.

      June 21, 2011 at 20:53 | Report abuse |
  7. Glenn

    Sadly this man has problems that sound to be less preventable than many of the medical problems that drain the health care coffers. True health care reform starts with every individual taking responsible for themselves. Taking better care of ourselves would free up more health care dollars for unfortunate diseases that could strike everyone young, old, strong, or frail.

    June 21, 2011 at 17:13 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. Johnny

    Since he committed an outright crime to get his "free healthcare", he should be award a free seat in the electric chair.
    No healthcare is FREE.

    June 21, 2011 at 17:14 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Nola Gurl

      Johnny Dear ... your ugly is showing .....

      June 21, 2011 at 17:46 | Report abuse |
    • Heidi

      Did you forget to turn on your brain today?

      June 22, 2011 at 10:19 | Report abuse |
  9. Suze

    I think I'll try that, too. Brilliant idea. Too bad our government can't come up with something to actually HELP people. And, while I'm on this rant, where the (#$*)#@ is my loan mod? My lender won't deal with me on a mod. Wasn't the plan supposed to help that? I'm a huge Obama supporter in general, but the whole government body is going to get the karma it deserves one day. I hope I'm around to see that. Maybe Boehner should spend fewer hours in the tanning bed and actually work for a living.

    June 21, 2011 at 17:15 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. neatsfootoil

    Johnny "The US provides Israel with 3 Billion dollars per year, so that country can provide free health care for their citizens, while Americans have to resort to desperate measures to get care, or die."

    this place is the best! where else can a story about a guy with no medical insurance who robs a bank to get jailed for medical attention turn into a rant about israel.

    perhaps if we were not squandering money on war... as of today @ 5:13pm the afgan war has cost the US $425,936,838,986. theres your health care $

    June 21, 2011 at 17:15 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. me

    Healtcare problem is only in USA

    June 21, 2011 at 17:15 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. Alex

    This makes me sad and angry. Sad, because NO ONE should be "better off" in prison. Angry, because our tax dollars allow prisons to be this way. It's supposed to be a place where people are punished for breaking the law, not somewhere you get a college degree, access to computers, libraries, weights, therapy, conjugal visits, or better healthcare. What has happened to this country??? For every step we take forward we take three steps back.

    June 21, 2011 at 17:16 | Report abuse | Reply
    • kay

      Don't like the 100 hour work weeks in America?

      June 21, 2011 at 17:22 | Report abuse |
    • Joe

      So you're saying we should ignore health issues of prisoners, and let them die? So our prisons should be a death camp? So no one deserves a second chance to make themselves productive and educated members of society? Oh wait, let me guess, you're a "chrisitian" arent you?

      June 21, 2011 at 17:55 | Report abuse |
  13. RON4152

    Take the money we waste on the phony "War on Drugs" and supply health care to people in need.
    We have spent BILLIONS on a lost cause and I am tired of paying for it. We should have gone after the "demand " side and not the "supply" side of the problem. Someone other than drug dealers must be making a lot of money from this phony "war".

    June 21, 2011 at 17:17 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. Mary

    imagine the cost to taxpayers if every 50 million uninsured people in this country took a dollar from the bank of their choice and were jailed over it!!! What would be cheaper? Supporting 50 million people in jail who are seeking medical care of having universal healthcare.

    June 21, 2011 at 17:17 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. Alex

    As soon as I am able to move (out of the U.S.) I will – and I won't bother to look back. This country is going down the drain...and fast.

    June 21, 2011 at 17:19 | Report abuse | Reply
    • ThatGuy

      Goodbye...and please FORGET to write

      June 21, 2011 at 17:59 | Report abuse |
    • KC

      But where ever you go–you'll always have yourself along–aren't you lucky??

      June 21, 2011 at 18:19 | Report abuse |
  16. john traas

    go to any hospital emergency room,especially at night and you find whole families there.Most are illegals and they walk out with filled presciptions.Than comes the welfare crowd to put more icening on the cake.Lets not forget about the lawyers,
    I HAVE TO PAY FOR ALL OF THIS ???HELL NO.I AM JOINING THEM.Let me first hide my little assets.WHAT A COUNTRY !!!

    June 21, 2011 at 17:19 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. Robert Davis

    Smart guy, instead of dying from what he felt a life threatening sickness he has left no choice but to sent himself to jail to get the medical attention he needed to save his life. just like a self defense argument against the governmnet republican medical health plan. they should learn from this fellow's ingenuity of which by the way a lot of politian are lacking of.

    June 21, 2011 at 17:20 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. Devin Doyle

    It's quite clear he needs health insurance. Mental health insurance.

    June 21, 2011 at 17:21 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. BOb

    As a Canadian, I think its pretty sad that your country can't figure this simple issue out.

    June 21, 2011 at 17:23 | Report abuse | Reply
    • M.

      The Republicans have managed to convince a significant majority of Americans that the healthcare in Canada is a disaster.

      I kid you not. People simply believe it, nobody bothers to ask or check.

      June 21, 2011 at 17:41 | Report abuse |
    • lalo

      As a Canadian I concur. This whole myth about Canadian or British health care being a disaster is fabricated nonsense. When I hear the stories from american friends who have had to reset their own broken limbs or were diagnosed with late stage cancer because they could not afford the tests early enough, that's what I call a disaster.

      June 21, 2011 at 17:51 | Report abuse |
  20. someone

    I want a government that gets us out of ridiculously overspent wars,
    that drastically cuts our health care costs,
    that increases funding on scientific research and exploration,
    that is willing to listen to its people,
    that wants to produce its own goods rather than buying from other people,
    that has a strong emphasis on education,
    that doesn't care about politics 100% of the time,
    and that will do something rather than debate about if for months.

    June 21, 2011 at 17:24 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Johnny

      I guess you want to live in the same place peter pan lives in.

      June 21, 2011 at 18:01 | Report abuse |
    • Hank

      Try China. There's a country that's going somewhere.

      June 21, 2011 at 18:03 | Report abuse |
    • lalo

      You speak rationally and with compassion and for that you will be crucified (metaphorically speaking for the time being). Deja vu my Christian friends?

      June 21, 2011 at 18:08 | Report abuse |
  21. Johnny

    I can't believe the blatant igorance of people here. Who todl you life was fair? Santa? The tooth fairy? Did they also tell you that everyone has the right to live forever, and live well forever??
    This guy is an indigent POS, lacking in his social responsibility to be a productive, contributing member of society. I don't care what his ailments are, where is his family? Did he take them for granted, too? So he's got health problems AND he's soulless. So what?

    June 21, 2011 at 17:24 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Frustrated

      @Johnny's statement–Did you not read the article?? He was a Coke (soda) delivery driver for several years until 3 years ago. Lived off his savings (aka retirement) while trying to find a job. For three years he did this. NO job equals no health care. This man unfortunately found himself in a spot where he HAD to do something. To call people ignorant without knowing them is ignorant itself. So, why don't you help him out then? What makes him soulless? Because he robbed a bank, probably knowing going in that he would get a light sentence for the amount he asked for. When you get into prison, they do a medical eval right off and proceed from there as needed. I bet he was in the hospital the next day after being booked!

      June 21, 2011 at 17:38 | Report abuse |
    • Joe

      What an aweful thing to say. Perfect thinking for a conservative. A poor uninsured person is automatically evil and soulless. That's terrible. You are a sick person and YOU deserve his fate.

      June 21, 2011 at 17:58 | Report abuse |
    • Terry

      Dude, you are an uncaring, unfeeling greedy POS. YOU are what's wrong with our society, not someone who felt he had no other option than to break the law, just so he could try to get some basic health care. As it stands, our country has the most expensive health care in the world, but in terms of quality, we aren't even in the top-40. We do have East Timor beat, though, so there is that. This guy is a prime example of this....

      June 21, 2011 at 18:00 | Report abuse |
    • Johnny

      It is amazing how insane you people are. Committing a crime is an excuse?
      What's your excuse for being so ignorant?? Typical bleeding heart liberals – you are a pox on this country.

      June 21, 2011 at 18:05 | Report abuse |
    • Terry

      I'm not condoning his actions. To break the law is not "okay" regardless the reason. The problem is our health care system is so messed up that it would even be conceivable that someone would do something like this. You lokk at the act he committed, and judge him based on that. Fine, you get to. The rest of us "bleeding hearts" look at the system that would drive someone to do this and wonder how we fix it. And it is broken, Nazi. It's broken....

      June 21, 2011 at 18:36 | Report abuse |
    • Johnny

      Hardly a Nazi, you uneducated tool. Nazi's are not for free markets.

      June 21, 2011 at 19:45 | Report abuse |
    • Heidi

      Umm, I would find it very ironic if you lost your job tomorrow, were looking for a new one and 6 months later (since your could not afford COBRA) you got a really aweful cancer.

      Think you would change your toon much?

      Could very easily happen to you.

      Insurance should not be tied to a job, ironically the sicked people are unable to work. Where is the logic in that.

      June 22, 2011 at 10:23 | Report abuse |
  22. Frustrated

    What a story. This dude played our system to get treated for medical issues he couldn't afford. H-E-L-L-O!! This should be a call to the government to wake the hell up and see what "normal" Americans will do to get what they need. Unlike those other folks who come to our country and states and use up all the local "free" insurance and funds when they are well enough physically and mentally to get a job. This will become a political hot button, like that "Joe the plumber" guy a few years ago. This dude will become a poster boy to gain political advantage. I want leadership in the government that will fight for its people and not fight for the big pockets of these monopolizing insurance jerks. Insurance is outrageous in this country, and needs to be dealt with. Too much time is spent dealing with other countries and THEIR issues then is spent dealing with ours. I myself am in a similar situation. My family is forced to "play" the system, although legit, but due to the cost of the insurance, a single working parent can NOT afford to provide health care for an entire family while AT THE SAME TIME trying to provide a good quality of life. It is a catch-22 and will soon come around and bite us in the buttocks.

    June 21, 2011 at 17:26 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. Vnonymous

    In a world where the well-being of our fellow men is only a priority if they are wealthy enough to afford it, our mutual and inevitable march to doom is assured.

    June 21, 2011 at 17:26 | Report abuse | Reply
    • lalo

      I couldn't have put it better. The vitriol, vehement hatred of anyone who not like themselves and complete lack of compassion is going to be America's downfall

      June 21, 2011 at 18:04 | Report abuse |
    • Johnny

      It's not a question of "being wealthy", it's a question of being RESPONSIBLE. What did this man do with the money he was making when he was employed? Drinking alcohol? Eating the worst possible foods in humongous proportions? Not saving for the rainy day he's now facing? It is your individual reponsibility to take care of yourself the best you can by living well, enjoying whatever it is you enjoy IN MODERATION and SAVING money.
      The lack of maturity in adults is astounding.

      June 21, 2011 at 19:52 | Report abuse |
    • Pat

      Johnny, he did just that, he saved enough money to last him three unemployed years.

      June 21, 2011 at 21:07 | Report abuse |
  24. Scott Fischer

    Can you blame him? I had a ton of credit card debt for years because of dental work – root canals, crowns, etc. and I had dental insurance at work – I brush and floss all day – so its nothing that I caused by being lazy. However, 24k cc debt and living pay check to pay check is BS. I have a 4 year old son – if He is living pay check to pay check when he is older, then I will tell him to live at home rent free. Where the hell are all the families and friends to help out? Its simple people – 4 steps – 1. Keep no debt 2. Keep 3 months of living expenses in cash saved. 3. Have insurance 4. Save for the long term. A lot of individuals and families could save a lot of money if they can get a little help to get ahead. Put up with your kids for a year dammit its not forever.

    June 21, 2011 at 17:29 | Report abuse | Reply
    • MaryAnn in VA

      Families and friends are struggling too. Who is going to pay for the "family and friends" when they can't pay for themselves?

      June 21, 2011 at 17:48 | Report abuse |
  25. Ms. WhatDoIKnow

    It's sad that people in the richest country in the world resort to such tactics for health care, go to bed hungry, have to chose between medicines and the basic neccessity (food, water, rent). People who worked 20+ yrs, used up their lives savings, and is facing a future with uncertainty where their next meal will come from, where to sleep for the night and most importantly, will they wake up tomorrow from an illness they neglected because they simply can't afford health care. The cost of health care is on the rise, due to malpractice lawsuits, this is a country where anyone can sue anyone for almost anything and win. Like getting a cup from McD, spill it on yourself and sue because you weren't warn the coffee is hot. A man committed suicide by lying on railroad tracks, he lost his arms and legs, but survived, sued the city and gets millions. No wonder doctors have to protect themself by maximizing their coverage, and in turn pass on costs to patients.

    June 21, 2011 at 17:34 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. MalibuChick

    The free loaders are really repulsive. This man wants "free" health care. It is not free...someone is paying for it. Then he wnats to collect Social Security...once again, someone is paying for it. It is always easier to spend other people's money.

    June 21, 2011 at 17:35 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Joshua

      Social security.... HE paid for it... He paid into it, so he deserves that.... how the F is getting what you're due being a freeloader?

      June 21, 2011 at 18:09 | Report abuse |
  27. anonymous

    $1 for your e-goes, people. You go guy, I'm on your side.------@

    June 21, 2011 at 17:38 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. Love

    It is such a shame that in this country, people who are less fortunate than the majority are faced with zero health care. Zero. This man has serious health needs and just because he cannot afford health insurance let alone a doctor's visit, he knows that if he becomes a criminal, his problems will be solved. It's true. My heart goes out to this man.

    June 21, 2011 at 17:39 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. coder

    Thank all of the previous 'career' politicians – that are now retired and living fat on the hog... They dont care about us now, nor did they then.......Just like the current administration.

    June 21, 2011 at 17:39 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. vp

    The Insurance "Industry" is the thief here.

    June 21, 2011 at 17:40 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. Trent

    I hate to say it, but his plan probably has a better chance of working than mine, and I don't intend on robbing anyone.

    June 21, 2011 at 17:42 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. Brian

    Another day in the great American health care MESS. We get so used to we don't realize how absurd it is.

    June 21, 2011 at 17:44 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. Joe

    Since there was no criminal intent he should just get a suspended sentence and 2 years probation. – Joe

    June 21, 2011 at 17:44 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. Danny

    People think there are two absolutes with healthcare. A) Universal healthcare. B) Privately insured care. The only problem with universal care is that it forces people to pay for it. If there was no force behind it, I'm sure there'd be a lot more support for it. And as far as insured care goes, why do you HAVE to have a plan to be covered for every medical problem? Anyone who opposes either universal or privatized healthcare, which is probably everyone here, should read up on Ron Paul's views on healthcare. If we had a median of both systems, maybe events such as these wouldn't happen.

    June 21, 2011 at 17:47 | Report abuse | Reply
    • cd99

      I agree. We should pay for true emergency care with a gate keeper refusing patients who don't meet the criteria. Those criteria need to be explicitly spelled out and suits can only be brought if you prove they did not follow them. Then treat infectious disease as public policy. Pre-natal care is cost effective but only attempt to save babies 3 month or less premature like they do in other countries.
      For the elderly, they have paid into the system but the care should be based what they as a group paid in on top of the public basics and decided by a panel of doctors based on the most common good and then after that it is private insurance.
      No organ transplants and only cancer care if a good chance of survival etc.

      June 21, 2011 at 18:02 | Report abuse |
  35. abby

    This made me think of how many people commit crimes just to end up with 3 hots and a cot and free medical care. It's a sign of the times....

    June 21, 2011 at 17:50 | Report abuse | Reply
    • cd99

      It was happening 20 years ago too. I saw a case then.

      June 21, 2011 at 18:03 | Report abuse |
  36. diver Dan

    I think the insurance companies are too cosy with the politicians and will never allow people to get quality health care. we should abolish private health care and make it Public health care for everyone. I see it working so well in Canada, UK, Sweden etc. The insurance companies have been been just spreading mis information about public health care, Both republicans and democrats are in on it and will never do anyhting productive for the common man.

    June 21, 2011 at 17:51 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. MaryAnn in VA

    I have long said that if a person found out he/she had a horrible disease that was going to wipe their family out financially, they'd be be crazy not to do what this guy did. Inmates get 100% of their imedical needs covered here in VA, 100%. Don't show a gun, pass a note, don't cuss or raise cane and you'll go to a low security prison or local jail. They'll have to get you checked out medically and you're going to get all the healthcare you need. Gotta love it!!!

    June 21, 2011 at 17:53 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. cd99

    Malpractice does raise the cost of medical care due to defensive medicine. However, doctors have also figured out the having a share of a diagnostic lab and refering patients there is a way to get extra money too. You have to both have malpractice reform and, also, refusal to pay for diagnostics for certain diseases unless the treatment fails and notification to the patient that the diagnosis test is not needed. That requires computerization so the doctor and the patient knows the rules. The big issue with medicine is that each doctor uses his judgement and often he goes with what he knows rather than the best or even the cheapest as a start. He gets money for surgery better than other things so he recommends surgery even when other treatments are better. So pay less for surgery. Getting medical cost under control is not going to be easy and some patients will get worse care.

    June 21, 2011 at 17:55 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. Anon

    The irony of this man's situation is that he could get "free" healthcare by going to an emergency room mandated to treat everyone (some hospitals require insurance but every city is required by law to operate an emergency room that treats everyone regardless of ability to pay). My ex-husband had insurance and he still racked up over $50,000 in medical expenses that he could never pay. Even if you never pay a cent, they are required to continue to treat you. This guy has the right idea though as he also will receive a free home, free television, free food, etc for as long as he is in jail.

    June 21, 2011 at 17:58 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. me

    Such a shame. Little does anyone know that this guy was probably over charged on an atm fee or something years before so that $1 was rightfully his...

    June 21, 2011 at 17:59 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. your worst enemy

    to h_ll with america this man did the right thing

    June 21, 2011 at 18:00 | Report abuse | Reply
    • l

      are you serious? what if this was a black guy?

      June 21, 2011 at 19:05 | Report abuse |
  42. joel

    We are all doomed.

    June 21, 2011 at 18:11 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. Tim

    The #1 reason the health care cost so much is, the health care professionals are practicing defensive medicine. They really don't want get sued. Unnecessary and expensive tests are done frequently to avoid getting sued.

    June 21, 2011 at 18:14 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. former prison doc

    As a former prison physician I have been asked by prisoners who were about to be paroled how long it would take to recover from certain surgical procedures. This made me conclude that they were thinking of "returning" so they can get these procedures done while in prison. These people are released and have go on public aid which can take a long time and then to be referred to specialists, if they can find one. There was a prisoner in for multiple DUI but he was so sick when he was transferred from the county jail. He was sent to the hospital the next day and spent the majority of the time in the hospital, at the expense of of the prison system, with multiple guards. He was paroled months later back to the community. Unfortunately, with fewer primary care physicians out there the current system, as well as the proposed reform, will not work. Long hours, decreasing reimbursements from insurances and Medicare, unfunded mandates, more and more
    paperwork/digital transmissions are driving primary care physicians to other fields of practice.

    June 21, 2011 at 18:16 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. Kim

    White America is getting a taste of what it feels like to truly live without. The man mentioned in the article is a genius. This country gives more support to those living here ILLEGALLY that we do our own people. Sad. We're suppose to be one of the greatest nations in the world. To quote a rap lyric here " I speak for the tongueless, cause we put man on the moon and n..s eatin dinner outta dumpsters." We all need to come together as a country and stop the bs.

    June 21, 2011 at 18:20 | Report abuse | Reply
  46. Evan

    I find it somewhat interesting that he choose a Canadian bank to access his " free" health care. RBC Bank= Royal Bank of Canada

    June 21, 2011 at 18:20 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Skwerl

      Oh sweet irony we long for you!

      June 21, 2011 at 19:12 | Report abuse |
  47. Dee

    I don't blame him. I don't think I would do it myself, but not a bad idea. My husband and I do not have health care as he lost his job. We are 61 and 60 years old. We can't even get health care as my husband takes meds for high blood pressure and i take meds for depression. We are hoping that we can stay relatively healthy until we can get on medicare and hope it will still be there for us. We get our drugs from Canada now. They are much cheaper. THe repulbicans are only concerned about themselves and the rich. Obama health care may not be perfect but no republicans up untill Obama ever had the balls to even approach the topic. Cudo's to Obama for trying and caring. It is a start,

    June 21, 2011 at 18:21 | Report abuse | Reply
  48. Robin

    This is just really sad and while we can all debate the merits of our current health care system, Obama's plan to begin to fix it, and nationalized care, the bottom line is there are people desperate enough to do something like this in order to get the health care they need.

    I'm not sure that this man will get what he's expecting in jail – my understanding is that jail care isn't the best, but he's drawn attention to a problem in a unique way and that can't help but benefit the discussion and perhaps, eventually, change the way we offer health care in the United States (and for the poor, in the different states.)

    June 21, 2011 at 18:29 | Report abuse | Reply
  49. Deb

    I am no economist, but the way I see this issue is pure unadulterated greed. Everybody along the chain has their hand out to grab as much of the proceeds as they can manage. That leaves you and me with this huge pyramid pressing down on our heads squeezing the life out of us.

    June 21, 2011 at 18:30 | Report abuse | Reply
  50. Canadian onlooker

    Canadian and having lived in the UK for the past ten years, I can only look at the US and say our systems (pick one) are flawed and unruly to manage but never, ever, ever, would I wish to have the US system instead. A social safety net is as much a part of national infrastructure as highways, power plants and water mangement systems and there is nothing more fundamental than a national healthcare system. Otherwise, no recession can be allowed and govt has to step in to drop interest rates to zero to try to desperately generate growth to create yet another jobless recovery to set the stage for the next bubble. Dot com, the housing market, pick one. Now its commodities. I know I'll get shouted down because I'm aforeigner and no one likes a foreigner telling you how to run your business, but I honestly hope America figures out that it can't continue with this Ayn Rand, Greenspan put B.S. anymore. It needs to invest in a social safety net. Get back to basic services.

    June 21, 2011 at 18:30 | Report abuse | Reply
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Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.