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. Jacob

    ...What a shame for a contry like the USA.

    A man needs to become a criminal in order to to get health care.

    In Europe we don't know something like that...

    June 21, 2011 at 18:32 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Med student

      Ya, you also don't know how to work (Greece, France, Spain, etc.). I've seen your 'healthcare' system, full of decades-old drugs, terrible surgeons, and waiting lines lasting months.

      June 21, 2011 at 18:45 | Report abuse |
    • NBGB

      When Obama was running for president he made the following statement: Most American are one trip to the hospital away from bankruptcy. How true and sad in this great nation.

      June 21, 2011 at 18:47 | Report abuse |
    • Jacob

      P.S. Just forget to mention, I'm a German citizen.

      Anyone get here a basic and good healthcare (even if he has NO MONEY AT ALL)...

      I love the USA, but the american healthcare system is one disaster.

      June 21, 2011 at 18:52 | Report abuse |
    • Connie

      @ Med Student –

      I've had a lump in my breast for 2 years, possible skin cancer (x 4) for 3 years. I've been unable to work for years because of an accident at work. Have yet another surgery coming up next week. So because I worked for a negligent employer who didn't fix a piece of equipment it knew was broken, I can do nothing but wait to die from these things. I'd happily be on a waiting list for months.

      June 21, 2011 at 18:57 | Report abuse |
    • Med student

      And if it was up to me, you'd have had it taken out years ago. Physicians are not the problem, the system that is set up is the problem.

      June 21, 2011 at 19:15 | Report abuse |
    • tappahannock

      This guy had a criminal mind before he robbed the bank, or mental instability.

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

      It's disgusting living in a society where access to quality healthcare is determined by the size of a person's bank account. It kills me that so many of my countrymen truly do not believe that everyone has the right to get medical help if they need it.

      Here in America there are tens of thousands of our own military veterans that sleep on the streets every night, living under bridges. Many of them are suffering from severe PTSD and other mental illnesses, hopelessly addicted to drugs due to the massive amount of painkillers that were pumped into their bodies. These are people that went overseas and risked their lives on behalf of the United States Government...and now they live in alleys.

      I think that says a lot about the U.S.

      I love my country, but I do not love what we've become. We've lost all humanity, it seems. I remain hopeful for a day when we realize that our greatest strength is our sense of community and togetherness, and that when one of us suffers we ALL suffer...but I'm not holding my breath.

      June 21, 2011 at 19:23 | Report abuse |
    • Mobi

      You Euros know that even before Obama passed his healthcare reform bill EVERYONE could get basic healthcare. No reform needed.

      June 21, 2011 at 19:24 | Report abuse |
    • Nate

      @Med Student – Funny, I've seen their system in person too (the German one to be specific) and heard no complaints about it from my hosts. In fact, they were somewhat puzzled by the way we do things here in the US. I even suffered a minor injury over there and could have seen a doctor at a clinic that day for cheap if I had thought it necessary. Every time I've suffered injuries or gotten sick here at home it's a process of calling the doctor for an appointment, waiting a week for that appointment to come, paying the initial co-pay to my doctor, then waiting for referalls to whatever specialists are necessary and paying their fees, then paying for prescriptions, and on and on (as long as the insurance company deems your proposed care worthy of approval, that is).

      Heck, my dad broke his elbow in a fall 3 or 4 years ago, and after paying for dozens of specialist appointments and procedures, he never did get his injury completely taken care of. Insurance companies, drug companies and medical groups made a nice chunk of change off of him, though.

      June 21, 2011 at 19:30 | Report abuse |
    • Mavis

      @Med student –

      "and waiting lines lasting months."

      In the US, how long is the line for someone without medical insurance?

      June 21, 2011 at 19:44 | Report abuse |
    • Dwight

      I'm in the same boat. Appendix burst and now I'm looking at $70K in bills. Oh, my surgeon isn't the major debtor, it's the hospital.

      June 21, 2011 at 19:45 | Report abuse |
  2. yureading

    This is HILARIOUS!!!!

    June 21, 2011 at 18:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. Rick Springfield

    I've had similar thoughts in my own situation. I need a costly umbilical hernia surgery and a gall bladder removed. They want to do both at the same time if possible. That was October of 2010. I used a homeopathic cure to clean out the gall bladder so the last ultrasound showed it was clear of any new gallstones. I was in hospital 3 days in October, 2010. I've been back to the surgeons three times and each time they write up a referral for surgery. HCA, the hospital says I need to at least raise $4500. I thought about putting a jar in convenience stores except that people steal them in my city. So now HCA says the deal is off and I would need to come up with $24,500 cash in advance. So I bide my time for a gall bladder attack to happen again. The surgeon says they may be able to remove it under medicaid emergency clause. But they would not be able to fix the umbilical hernia. In all likelihood, they would do major harm to the hernia by poking a hole in the area to get to the gall bladder. Its something I would have to live with. So now, the homeopathic cures work and I have absolutely no pain. But the hernia grows and grows and i fear it may rupture. Of course it would do good to rupture as it would qualify as a medical emergency requiring immediate emergency surgery. So goes the state of health care in the 3rd world USA.

    June 21, 2011 at 18:34 | Report abuse | Reply
    • James of NY

      It's truly a sad state our country is in to allow your situation. I must say I hope the best for you.

      June 21, 2011 at 19:18 | Report abuse |
    • Suzy

      I am glad you brought this up. It bothered me that Wolf Blitzer made the statement that the emergency room had to treat someone with a medical condition. Not really. They have to admit you. They have to stabilize you. But if you have no insurance, they then send you home. This first came to my attention when a man who rented from my mother named Phil had a heart attack. He had no medical insurance. He went to the emergency room. They stabilized him and sent him home. He died that night. If you don't have medical insurance in this country, and you have a serious medical condition, you just die. Somehow, I really don't think that is right. You are okay if you are on medicaid, but if you are homeless or the working poor, you are out of luck. It bothers me that people don't seem to know that. Of course, I didn't know it until I saw it happen.

      June 21, 2011 at 19:22 | Report abuse |
  4. Samantha

    Brilliant man. Kudos.

    June 21, 2011 at 18:34 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. Premal D.Shah

    I have been denied health insurance by Blue shield, Mutual Ohama and other insurance companies due to high colesterol and triglycerides. I too intend to do something like this, without breaking the law in order to get health insurance.

    June 21, 2011 at 18:35 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Morgan

      I really wish people wouldn't make stuff up when they post on here. It is especially common for health care stuff. Generally people just don't want to pay for health care so they blame insurance comapnies (instead of the people who are actually charging them an arm and a leg....i.e. the doctors/hospitals/drug companies).

      What you are claiming is illegal (even before the new health care law). You weren't DENIED for high cholesterol. AT MOST they were required to wait 90 days before seeking treatment for high cholesterol, and that is only because you decided NOT to have insurance until something was wrong with you like so many people.

      June 21, 2011 at 19:33 | Report abuse |
    • PA-C

      You were absolutely not denied for the sole reasons of hypercholesterolemia and hypertriglyceridemia. A massive percentage of the population has at least one of the two and aren't denied health insurance for those reasons. Not to mention I hope your high levels are a familial condition, if not it just means you've made poor health choices in your life. If it's not familial (aka genetic) your comment is a lazy excuse for not putting in any effort to oversee your own health (another problem with health care in America ... poor health habits/smoking/overweight/inactivity lead to more "controllable" health problems).

      June 21, 2011 at 19:52 | Report abuse |
  6. felton

    Obama gave health care a valid effort, but, our allowed our own ignorance to weaken the bill, adding the republican misrepresentations and inciting people emotions as well as using the media as their propaganda machine.

    We give enough money to our health care companies by the entire work industries and employees to be able to build 10 fully staffed hospitals with equipment for each state in the next 5 years. That's a lot of money and that is what the entire work system pays into our health care, so why not own the building and hire the staff and pay for it's 24/7 operation with the money we give Blue Cross Blue shield and the rest.


    June 21, 2011 at 18:38 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. Med student

    I can't believe some people on here believe they have a right to tell a physician how and what he can do in his own private practice, after sacrificing years to become a physician. If you're a mechanic, can I just come in and say, "well, I don't think I'm gonna pay you because I don't have any money, but thanks for working on my car." Happens everyday to hospitals and physicians everywhere. The problem with healthcare is that it is not a true free-market system, instead insurance companies and politicians try to have a monopoly on the system so that doctors can't operate at their own costs. How do you lower health care costs? Let doctors set their own prices, then go shopping around. If someone's too high, go somewhere else. Prices would literally get cut in half in a day.

    June 21, 2011 at 18:41 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Arlee

      I agree with you, and I hope you are successful with your practice. If it doesn't work for you in the States, come to Canada and give us a hand.

      June 21, 2011 at 18:51 | Report abuse |
    • Newmac

      boo hoo med student, stop cryin, if you can't take it don't make your whopping sacrifice. cost of health care is outrageous!! you can live without your car being fixed or even having a car...

      June 21, 2011 at 18:53 | Report abuse |
    • jon

      Not necessarily. For prices to really drop, we'd need transparent markets. Calling around from office to office to get a list of costs without knowing what you need is going to get patients nowhere. In addition, doctors will often require a first visit before diagnosing a patient: shopping around would require several of these, costing the consumer considerable time and expense.

      At the end of the day, demand for healthcare is inelastic: that is, people absolutely require it despite cost, and will continue to consume at the same rate regardless of cost. Thus, a free market system for healthcare won't bring down costs. Even if it results in some inefficiencies, the only way to make healthcare affordable is to set market controls of some type. Whether it be through single payer, or price caps, or any other idea, something must be done: too many people are one health bill away from financial insolvency.

      June 21, 2011 at 18:58 | Report abuse |
    • Common Sense

      ummm.... a couple differences.
      1). People are not cars
      2). We don't mourn our cars when they die
      3). We can't buy a new body when this one quits on us.
      While I appreciate that they sacrificed for years to become a doctor, that doesn't justify that a single aspirin should cost $7.50 in the ER but is only $1.59 for the entire bottle at the local pharmacy. The reason health care costs are through the roof is the for profit middle man known as the insurance industry and the HMO's set up for cost efficiency and maximizing profits. What is your spouse or child worth? How much is too much? If you had to put a price on their well being I am sure this would be a completely different conversation. Socialism isn't the answer but niether is raping someone because you can withhold a service if they don't agree to the molestation.

      June 21, 2011 at 19:04 | Report abuse |
    • chris

      Dear Med student,

      Maybe you should have been a mechanic instead of a doctor. Making money off medical care is horrific. You are here to serve, not prosper. If you don't want that, get another profession.

      June 21, 2011 at 19:07 | Report abuse |
    • Med student

      I understand that everything can't be 'negotiable' because it would get nuts, but the fact is physicians are tied and aren't even allowed a say in changing healthcare, it literally is illegal for doctors to form a union and have a say at the healthcare table. Yes, that's right, the people who know the system best are not allowed at the table to discuss healthcare reform. Who is? Unions, politicians, insurance companies, etc.

      And yes I understand that people are not cars, but my point is very simple in that both must keep up with the times to cover overhead. It is not the mechanics fault that a transmission costs thousands of dollars, and neither is it the physician's fault that OR time costs thousands of dollars.

      June 21, 2011 at 19:10 | Report abuse |
    • Med student

      Chris, did you even read what I wrote? Are you in the healthcare field? Do you have a clue what you're talking about, or just someone who expects others to take care of him?

      June 21, 2011 at 19:14 | Report abuse |
    • pat

      I don't know where those physicians are who have to go without getting paid. The first thing you have to do when you go to one is prove you have insurance or can pay the bill. I think you are exaggerating the problem. The amounts my physicians charge for little or no treatment is incredible. A dermatologist charged $168 for squirting a wart with CO2 and called it "office surgery." They charge for writing out an order for you to get a blood test at a lab. They charge for every little thing they do, even for conversation which is considered "consultation." If I'd known it was billable, I wouldn't have sat there and discussed a gall bladder surgery I had five years ago that has nothing to do with today. Don't tell me how rough doctors have it. Along with the AMA, they own half of Congress.

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

      I pray to God that you're never going to treat me in an ER, that's if my kids ever take me. I told them not to ever take me to a doctor. I hate doctors. I have no freaking respect for them. My blood boils just thinking about you evil B@$t@rd$. You are so freaking stupid!!!!! You are comparing a person's life to a d@mn car! MedStudent, I hope you go blind or lose a hand and then you can't do crap. You'll be dirt poor like the rest of us! Idiot! I swear to God I hate people in the medical field. I hate them!

      June 21, 2011 at 19:19 | Report abuse |
    • Nate

      So you freely admit that you're going to med school mainly for the money, not because you have an interest in healing people? I guess so much for the hippocratic oath. It isn't "socialism" or "communism" that's ruining this country, it's greed like this.

      BTW, is we had a functioning public healthcare system and public education system, becoming a doctor wouldn't be such a huge financial risk and your operating costs would pretty much covered while you were fairly compensated for your services. Call it "socialism" if you want, but that doesn't change the fact that it's a good idea.

      June 21, 2011 at 19:19 | Report abuse |
    • Joe

      I have my buddy work on my car in his garage to save money, should I see if he can do open heart surgery for me as well?

      June 21, 2011 at 19:25 | Report abuse |
    • Med student

      Alexandrine, and the others, I have no idea where it came off that I went into medicine for money. If anything, I offered an opinion on how to lower costs, so I don't understand how you would get that.

      As for your 'hate' for medical professionals, I am sorry you feel that way. While you may be the type of person to not treat me if I came to the ER, I'd gladly take care of you, like I do with everyone else. You must've had a previously bad situation, or else you just hate people who spend upwards of $200k in education, sacrifice time with family and holidays to take care of people, and spend ~15 years of secondary schooling to heal people.

      June 21, 2011 at 19:29 | Report abuse |
    • Suzy

      I'm sorry med student. I can't agree with you. I remember a man, a real doctor, who sat up all night with a sick child whose parents had nothing. He never expected to be paid. The people who could pay him did, but that had nothing to do with the quality of his care. He valued life, and he valued his patients. He was a wonderful man, a true doctor. By the way, the child survived. She is alive today. Quite a man that one. His name was Dr. Rosensweig. Strange behavior by today's standards, huh?

      June 21, 2011 at 19:30 | Report abuse |
    • Med student

      Suzy, if it was up to me a lot of my patients would receive that type of care. But put simply, if I work at a public hospital, the hospital expects to be paid... I don't. If I wanted to do every operation for the rest of my life for free, I would last 1 week because medical equipment and OR time is expensive.

      This is why I believe healthcare should be even more privatized, because if a surgeon is willing to do a procedure cheaper then it lowers costs across the board. Instead, large hospitals dictate prices and there is no choice but to follow their rules.

      June 21, 2011 at 19:34 | Report abuse |
    • Nate

      @ Med student – This is the part that sounded greedy to me: "I can't believe some people on here believe they have a right to tell a physician how and what he can do in his own private practice, after sacrificing years to become a physician. If you're a mechanic, can I just come in and say, 'well, I don't think I'm gonna pay you because I don't have any money, but thanks for working on my car.' "

      I am not implying that doctors and the like don't have a right to be compensated fairly for their services, but the above statement sounds like you are arguing that the medical system should be able to charge whatever it wants and people should just deal with it. The analogy of people to cars is also pretty flawed. I know things can get confused on the internet, so I'll grant you that your point may have been misinterpreted and retract the accusation that you were being greedy. I agree with you that too many who aren't doctors have control over the system and we need to do something about it as soon as possible. People are quite frustrated and when they don't go to the doctor when sick, or start robbing banks to get care, something is very wrong.

      Anyway, good luck in your studies and I hope you become a skilled physician.

      June 21, 2011 at 19:40 | Report abuse |
    • Raj

      Med Student, I've taught medical students for ~20 years, and during that time, I've never ever seen a starving physician. Don't worry, you will end up doing very well in life, but don't forget the poor people that put you through medical school. For most medical students, tuition does not even begin to cover the true costs of education. In the great state of Texas for example, the poor and ill people that you hold in such disregard will spend more than a quarter of a million dollars in taxes to educate a single physician. These taxes go towards your medical school and your residency program. Later on they will continue to spend scarce resources to give you a good life. Your children will be able to go to private school and you will be able to afford membership at your local golf club. All this while, unless you do something horrible, they will respect you beyond belief. So YES! The poor people that pay money for you to be educated absolutely have the right to expect service and honor from you! Your medical school should be telling you the same message or your professors are not doing their job.

      June 21, 2011 at 19:46 | Report abuse |
    • Med student

      Nate, after re-reading my post I believe that a huge sentence got accidentally deleted in the middle. I was simply trying to state that even if a surgeon take zero pay for an operation, there are still costs to be paid, and people like this guy then transfer the costs to other people. My point was to say that the mechanic has certain overhead, just like a physician. For every operation, there are costs that are out of the control of physicians, yet they get blamed for high prices.

      June 21, 2011 at 19:46 | Report abuse |
    • Nate

      @ Med student – Fair enough. I wasn't implying that medical care doesn't have some sizeable overhead costs. I don't think others are saying that either. What many of us are saying is that what counts as "overhead" in the US has gotten ridiculous (insurance shenanigans for the most part) while the level of care and access to it has gone down.

      We all want good doctors and want them to be able to make a living. From my perspective, some type of public system seems to be the best route to go. This "for profit" madness by the insurance companies needs to end.

      June 21, 2011 at 19:59 | Report abuse |
    • Resident

      Med Student,
      I can understand your frustration with the current system, but switching to a true free-market system is unlikely to change healthcare enough so that people can get the care they truly need. There will likely always be people who are unable to afford care even if prices were cut in half and frankly, the real challenge lies in getting those people covered.

      I would suggest that the uncontrolled cost of health care is in part due to the rise of health care organizations as for profit companies. We can pay as much as we want to into the system, but as long as insurance companies remain for profit organizations not all of that money will be returned to the public for funding measures like preventive health. In addition to setting market controls, there needs to be action taken to prevent or at least minimize denial of coverage. HMOs are often willing to cover healthy people, but people with chronic conditions are often denied coverage or are charged exorbitantly high premiums that they have no realistic chance of being able to afford. It is truly sad to see that in a country as well advanced as the US, health care can still be denied to those who need it most.

      If we can just divert a fraction of the money we pay to HMOs and use it to fund public health and preventive measures, perhaps we can expand care to those who are currently uninsured and prevent them from getting future complications from long-standing untreated disease. This would hopefully result in less ER visits and hospital admissions, thus saving patients themselves from potentially life-threatening illness and the American taxpayer from increased costs by nipping a developing illness in the bud before it becomes something truly catastrophic. Better yet, is it time to cut out the middleman? I’ve probably become rather jaded from working in the health care industry, but shouldn’t money paid for health care go toward caring for the sick instead of a private investor someplace?

      June 21, 2011 at 20:59 | Report abuse |
  8. Paperwork

    The simple truth is that a prisoner in the US has more rights (free legal, free dental, free medical, free food, free housing) than the "free" citizens that are looking at empty 401ks, upside down mortgages, jobs being downsized, "right sized" or outsourced out from under them thru no fault of their own. Two earner families are losing their homes because neither can find a job. If you've never been in a situation where medical bills have drained your retirement accounts, you're lucky. If you haven't yet, given the escalating health care costs and ever increasing lifespan, you will.

    June 21, 2011 at 18:43 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. Daniel H

    As they say don't do the crime if you can't do the time. In this case he's willing to do the time and planned accordingly for the consequences. If he is willing to bear them and turn it around to come out on top then more power to him.

    June 21, 2011 at 18:45 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. Arlee

    I don't think Americans will ever get health care. There are too many interested parties that want to make money from the poor health of the people. You can't just blame the government that is in power to make changes. We here in Canada have changed governments a dozen time since we got health care and it never seems to improve even though every goverment says it will. For the Americans that need government health care just jump in somewhere and try and fine tune it later. If you wait for a perfect system it will never come. I don't think there is a perfect system but it will not leave a man like James to do things he know is wrong to help with his health.

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

    I've been thinking of the same thing. Not a bank robbery, but a crime that will put me in jail and get me the healh care that I need. What else can you do when you're desperate? A bed, meals, health care. That's more than many people have right now. Look for this to start happening A LOT.

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

    And D: He does a small amount of time and winds up on all the news shows, Conan etc. and sells the movie rights for $2.500.000...And of course Oprah takes care of all his medical expenses.

    June 21, 2011 at 18:50 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. Sarah

    Forget 401K's, the department of corrections retirement plan is the way to go.

    June 21, 2011 at 18:51 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. Epiphany

    This is a country where if you cut off your finger you would rather take your chances sewing it back together because the bills are utterly ridiculous. I don't blame this man, it was do or die more than likely in his eyes. This man's story should be the a front story for the health care battles. It's when Americans have to resort to crime to get health care. Wake up politicians. You should be ashamed.

    June 21, 2011 at 18:51 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. Joey

    It is terrible that our parents have to go to these kinds of lengths to get health care.
    I think he went about it wrong but I think if congress wasn't so bent on making Obama Fail we might have universal health care for everyone who needs it.
    I am not saying its Democrats vs. Republicans.
    It is both parties who failed this man and all of us in this country.
    It is just terrible.

    June 21, 2011 at 18:53 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. Laurie

    The company i worked for recently closed their doors. I am not sure if everyone knows this, but in California if the company closes and there isn't a health insurance policy in effect, the employees who have lost their jobs can't get Cobra. People who are willing to pay for their health insurance can't get it. Tell me there isn't a problem with HELLth care in this country.

    June 21, 2011 at 18:54 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Alexandrine

      If you can afford COBRA. Have you seen the prices? COBRA is a joke. Just like our heath care system.

      June 21, 2011 at 19:27 | Report abuse |
  17. Dennis

    I'll consider it if I ever need a heart transplant

    June 21, 2011 at 18:57 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. andrew w

    Basic health care needs to be affordable for all. The health care industry must switch from hyper inflation to cost containment.

    June 21, 2011 at 18:58 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. RG

    This man stole my retirement plan. Sounds funny? The ONLY people who have a right to healthcare in this country are the incarecerated. As politicians are reneggeging now on programs that people paid for all their lives, you'll be seeing a LOT more of this. Just be glad this guy settled for a bank robbery, because it may become open season on politicians soon.

    June 21, 2011 at 18:59 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. Marcnj

    One of the wealthiest countries in the world and we still have problems that second and third world countries don't.

    June 21, 2011 at 19:03 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. Gaucho420

    Universal Healthcare...who needs it???!!! 😉

    June 21, 2011 at 19:03 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. suekee

    I haven't been to a doctor in 18 yrs. Wish I could.

    June 21, 2011 at 19:03 | Report abuse | Reply
    • RG

      But they'll tell you there is something wrong with you and you won't feel so good. Enjoy life!

      June 21, 2011 at 19:33 | Report abuse |
  23. AllForOne

    Terrible that people have to resort to this. We were close to having a system in place so that hard working Americans didn't have to worry about being bankrupted by a health problem. Instead.... people with an agenda made up whatever supported their plans, our TV News stations reported these things as true since it fit their agenda and marching orders, and a lot of stupid people who believe that if you hand over your paycheck to the rich YOU will be better off believed it and voted. The plan worked well for the few....... sad that the stupid and their families will have to pay the price along with the rest of us.

    June 21, 2011 at 19:05 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. patrizia

    II am faced with possibility of cancer, this guy gave me an excellent IDEA!!! WHAT A COUNTRY! BETTER TO KILL SOLDIERS IN STUPID WARS THAN CURE ITS OWE PEOPLE!

    June 21, 2011 at 19:05 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Marcnj

      why cure 'em, they'll just ask for more help. <sarcasm

      June 21, 2011 at 19:07 | Report abuse |
    • Mark Solano

      The funny thing is Iraqi and Afghan citizens enjoy universal healthcare provided by the US. But we can't do the same for our own citizens.

      June 21, 2011 at 19:18 | Report abuse |
  25. patty

    Bank robbery is a federal crime and that means a federal penitentiary. His only mistake was the $1. He needed to take enough to classify it as a felony. We are going to see more of this because so many older people lost their jobs and can't get new ones with health insurance. Age discrimination is rampant because there aren't enough decent jobs to go around.

    I have insurance and can't afford the dental work I need.

    June 21, 2011 at 19:09 | Report abuse | Reply
    • pat

      Amen to that! Dentists are even costlier than medical doctors. They yell all the time about how important dental health is, but hardly anyone can afford it even with insurance.

      June 21, 2011 at 19:28 | Report abuse |
  26. Tim

    This is US and that is how thing works, sadly. The GOP is protecting the rich, while the Dem protecting the basic human rights. You and I in between flip the bill. This is not the first time I have I heard this type of story, but I surprised that we did not hear more of them. It is ironic that we have to do wrong to get rights!

    June 21, 2011 at 19:10 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. Travis

    He looks like George Carlin.

    June 21, 2011 at 19:11 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. jo

    When your body is used to make huge profits, you lose!!

    June 21, 2011 at 19:12 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. k

    This guy is a real American, milking the system for what it is worth, God Bless him

    June 21, 2011 at 19:12 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. Daniel

    health care in USA is an shame. I dont have it because I dont have a job and is not because I am lazy. there is something wrong with this sistem!

    June 21, 2011 at 19:16 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. Chris Ward

    I don't get it! My Doctor wants to treat me for pre-hypertension, arthritis, and pre-diabetes and reminds me on every visit that I am overweight. All these ailments are symptoms of obesity yet my Doctor refuses to help me to lose weight. My Insurance company would not pay for a course of drugs to quit smoking or fund a colonoscopy!

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

      How about you stop waiting for other people to take care of you and get some will power to do it yourself! This is what is wrong with Americans..they expect everyone else to take care of them and to be handed everything!

      June 21, 2011 at 19:55 | Report abuse |
  32. Jacob

    Isn't it sad how hardworking Americans who've worked an honest days wage all their life have worse medical treatment than criminals? There's nothing fair or just about our healthcare system at all.

    June 21, 2011 at 19:20 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. Daniel

    I am one more on the list that dont know what is helth care because I cant afford it.

    June 21, 2011 at 19:20 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. RichP, easton, pa

    Politicians do this all the time only for larger amounts.

    June 21, 2011 at 19:20 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. Lori

    The more we see of this, the more the rest of us have to pay to buy our health care. We definitely have a problem with health care, but the politicians are not willing to do what it takes to fix it. Republican's say they don't want a socialist country? What do you think we have..... we look after illegals health care when they go to the hospital, then the legal US residents pay for it.

    June 21, 2011 at 19:24 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. the_dude

    This tard is trying to be sensational. Probably a paid member of the dnc. Anyone can walk into any hospital in this country and get treatment no questions asked. If he walked in and he was dying they would treat him right away. This is total bs.

    June 21, 2011 at 19:24 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Alexandrine

      They may treat you with basics but if you are uninsured and you really need to see a specialist, you are SOL! Hang it up, you're going to die. Doctors, insurance companies, and politicians are all murders! It's all about money. Making money is more important than saving a life.

      June 21, 2011 at 19:37 | Report abuse |
  37. Heidi

    This story is evidence that there is a tipping point- the way the healthcare system is now isn't sustainable and people (like this guy) are going to start turning to desperate measures. I am fortunate that I have never been without health insurance, however the tipping point came for me a couple months ago when I broke a thumb and it actually paid more for it WITH health insurance than if I didn't have it since I got a seperate bill from the Dr who saw me, the urgent care facility, the x-rays, and the cast I ended up needing all on top of a $200 copay. Outrageous!

    June 21, 2011 at 19:25 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. Lori

    oh, but the politicians have great health care.....

    June 21, 2011 at 19:25 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. Dave in Canada

    That the reason whey the USA ranks 50th out of 222 countries in longevity.

    June 21, 2011 at 19:28 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Med student

      haha I love people who spout that ranking off without knowing any real facts. It's like comparing apples to oranges. In America, if someone lives until their 90, but someone dies from a gun-related accident at 20, the average age (for example) of longevitiy would then be 55. 2 people in Canada live until they're 60, so the average age of longevity is 60. Longevity has nothing to do with healthcare, but everything to do with social behavior.

      June 21, 2011 at 19:40 | Report abuse |
    • Observer

      "Longevity has nothing to do with healthcare". You are a strange medical student...

      June 22, 2011 at 08:53 | Report abuse |
  40. Dean

    The average cost of a person openning the door at the Emergency Room is $500.00 and if you can't pay don't worry in our non-socialist country the tax payer will cover it (oops that sounds rather socialist to me). When Susan Atkins (Mansion Family member convicted of murder) died in prison of brain cancer she was costing the State of California over a half million dollars a month, while unemployed and employed citizens of California could not get close to the care she was getting and they were paying for; but no worries we are a free market capitalistic socity and the free market will cure all ills. Now we have the story of this man robbing a bank to get health care in gaston county. Last winter we had homeless people breaking store front windows in Cabarrus county so that they could go to jail to get warm. But don't worry folks we don't need health care reform, why in the world would we want to actually reduce healthcare costs? No worries the rich will just pay more in taxes – oops sorry I forgot the republicans killed that idea too. We know we need to cut the federal budet but it is far more important that oil companies maintain there tax breaks and huge corporate farms continue to get paid for NOT planting crops. I wonder if we will ever actually look at what is causeing us economic difficulties.

    June 21, 2011 at 19:28 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. strange04

    To all you people crying for free health care. Dont you know tax payers pay for that, and our government is already in debt. How about get off youre lazy cans and find a job. Just because its not youre glory job doesnt mean you cant find one. Look at the door greeters at youre local walmarts they have disabilities but are still out there working. So quit looking for the free ride.

    June 21, 2011 at 19:29 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. Tree

    I understand this man's plight and been through the same situation but if he is unemployed and broke, he qualifies for Medicaid. Sometimes people don't know what's available out there. There's no shame in getting Medicaid. It's better than nothing.

    June 21, 2011 at 19:30 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. glenda

    If he was an illegal Mexican, he could get free health care. The Supreme Court can be thanked for this.

    June 21, 2011 at 19:30 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. scoto

    Welll.... I cant say I agree with his methods but at a certain level I can sympathise. Our country's medical care is of course a complete disaster and a mess but what can you do when a large part of our population vote against their own interests and believe outrageous nonsense spread by the Republicans about "socialized medicine'. Of course you will notice that THEY have their medical coverage taken care of ( you think the Canadians etc would allow their politicians to have coverage that was denied to their average citizen?) But this is the dumb ole USA. We dont follow the money and figure out that maybe its because the INSURANCE COMPANIES pay them in campaign funds. Nope, no reading facts, no challenging the nonsense just the same old garbage that they have pulled on us for years as they block anything that makes us a better more human society. Canada, here I come!

    June 21, 2011 at 19:30 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Mike Johnson

      I am an American ... and I'll be the first to admit that the average American is ignorant and unread. This is why things are possible in this country that could not happen in any other industrialized nation ... we have not even adopted the metric system yet ... how can a nation serious about technology still dabble in feet, inches and slugs ...

      June 21, 2011 at 19:42 | Report abuse |
  45. Frustrated

    As a primary care provider in both family medicine and correctional medicine, I think there is something wrong with our country when a convicted fellon is guaranteed health care, but I cant get health care for my 40 yr/old female with breast cancer. 40k – 1m a year per inmate spent on health care. I think this is well above the average spent on the normal tax paying adult for their health care. Easy fix; lessen writes for those who put a drain on society, increase the rights for those who contribute to society.

    June 21, 2011 at 19:31 | Report abuse | Reply
  46. ieat

    This is just sad. Health care is not going to function without some oversight. I'm not referring to just doctors, but insurance companies, or people abusing the system. Cancer, diabetes, and heart diseases are so common in the US that insurance doesn't make sense. Insurance can only make a profit if people do not get sick. More effort should be placed on prevention and healthy living to avoid those costly expenses. Adding the greediness of insurance companies, some doctors (not all, i know of many good ones) and pharmaceutical companies, no wonder the health care system is collapsing.

    June 21, 2011 at 19:32 | Report abuse | Reply
  47. Anonymous0010

    he should face the rest of his life in prison. He spent all his money on booze & substances, that that's why he's broke. The court fee will cost, us, much more than him going to a local charity

    June 21, 2011 at 19:34 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Mike Johnson

      ... and you are an idiot

      June 21, 2011 at 19:35 | Report abuse |
  48. Mike Johnson

    Private healthcare works great ... for healthy people.
    By definition ... in order to maximize profits, any for profit corporation needs to minimize expenditures ... in terms of a healthcare corporations, that means distancing themselves from individuals who require care. Therefore private healthcare will never fulfill the needs of society as a whole. What is so hard about that to understand?

    June 21, 2011 at 19:34 | Report abuse | Reply
  49. another medstudent

    I agree with the previous posts. All the blame is placed on doctors who make a huge sacrifice for this profession. What happened to the days when people respected their doctor?

    June 21, 2011 at 19:39 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Med student

      To be honest, a lot of it is class warfare and the fact that there are some doctors that ruin the impression of other doctors. For every 100, 99 would gladly do an operation for free, but for some reason the 1 that won't is the one people remember and frankly the reason why people hate the other 99.

      June 21, 2011 at 19:43 | Report abuse |
  50. K Shaw

    What, I don't understand is why anyone would or should have to go to this extreme to get help, when our government pays for healthcare for millions of illegals everyday, as well as healthcare to millions of life long welfare queens/kings who have never worked a day in their life? Not to mention that we pay to feed all of these same people while we have Vet's and elderly, going hungry each day. Where's the justice in that, I ask?

    June 21, 2011 at 19:45 | 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.