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Man Robs Bank of $1 To Get Health Care In Jail 950

Posted by samzenpus
from the three-squares-a-cot-and-a-physical dept.
f1vlad writes "A 59-year-old man has been jailed in Gastonia, N.C., on charges of larceny after allegedly robbing an RBC Bank for $1 so he could get health care in prison. Richard James Verone handed a female teller a note demanding the money and claiming that he had a gun, according to the police report."

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Man Robs Bank of $1 To Get Health Care In Jail

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  • by elrous0 (869638) * on Tuesday June 21, 2011 @11:17AM (#36513338)

    If you can't get a job, that's about the quickest, easiest way to get healthcare in the U.S. The healthcare isn't great in jails and prisons, but it beats the hell out of nothing.

    For those of you fortunate enough to live in developed countries, let me break down the U.S. system for you. Here are the only ways to get healthcare in the U.S.:

    1) Go to prison or jail. Not the best care, but beats nothing
    2) Be real poor. This will usually qualify you for Medicaid--which sucks, but is also better than nothing.
    3) Be a child. There are usually programs for providing healthcare for kids.
    4) Be over 65. This will qualify you for Medicare--which isn't the best by a longshot (many doctors won't accept it) but it's a lot better than Medicaid
    5) Get a job with benefits. This means a full-time job (working as a cashier at Walmart won't cut it). Better come armed with a college degree. Quality is all over the map.
    6) Join the military. Very good healthcare. But this could involve getting shot at.
    7) Become a Congressman of other high-ranking government official. Best fucking care you can get. Expect gold-plated bedpans for yourself and your family, even as you rail against government-supported healthcare for everyone else.

    Of course, you can also elect to pay for it yourself. But, if you have ever seen what even basic healthcare costs in the U.S., you will realize this is impractical for anyone who isn't Bill Gates. A single emergency room visit could easily bankrupt even a moderately well-off individual. And don't even THINK about having surgery unless you've got a mansion to mortgage.

  • Sad state of (Score:1, Insightful)

    by TheRecklessWanderer (929556) on Tuesday June 21, 2011 @11:17AM (#36513340) Journal
    It's a sad state of affairs that people have to resort to such drastic measures to get something that should be a right.
  • Yeap (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ciderbrew (1860166) on Tuesday June 21, 2011 @11:18AM (#36513358)
    That's the way to do it when you've got nothing. How awful must his life have been to think that prison is a step up.
    I love the NHS.
  • by Relyx (52619) on Tuesday June 21, 2011 @11:21AM (#36513394)

    When I saw this story appear in my feed, I thought it was an article from The Onion. My god...

  • by WrongSizeGlass (838941) on Tuesday June 21, 2011 @11:21AM (#36513404)

    1) Go to prison or jail. Not the best care, but beats nothing

    No always. Take a look at California's prison healthcare issues [newscientist.com]. This guy will probably be charged by the state (instead of federal) and the state may even deal with him as a non-violent offender who gets house arrest (and has to pay for his own monitoring). The DA & prosecutor aren't stupid - they'll want to discourage this type of activity.

  • by DreadPiratePizz (803402) on Tuesday June 21, 2011 @11:27AM (#36513524)
    Paying for yourself not practical? I don't smoke and I'm not overweight, and I pay $150/mo for full coverage. If I stay in the hospital, I'm never on the hook for more than $1500; my insurance pays the rest. Granted I am single and young, but I'm not exactly going bankrupt here. I'm sure if you have a large family or are otherwise unhealthy it can be a a huge burden, but if you can't afford that then it pays to not have kids and just take care of yourself.
  • by TheGratefulNet (143330) on Tuesday June 21, 2011 @11:38AM (#36513748)

    young.

    yes, yes, you skip over the most obvious thing.

    I'm nearly 50. I'm not in bad health but things do get worse over time, as you get older. they just do.

    enjoy your youth and $150/mo payment. it won't last forever. remember this post in 20 or 30 years time.

  • Re:Why bother? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by hedwards (940851) on Tuesday June 21, 2011 @11:40AM (#36513814)

    It never ceases to surprise me just how OK Americans are with rape, so long as the person being raped isn't a woman. Perhaps before we start lecturing other nations about human rights abuses, we might want to remember that there is a prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment, and only the most narrow minded of people would consider prison conditions to not be a part of the punishment.

  • by gclef (96311) on Tuesday June 21, 2011 @11:42AM (#36513830)

    "Americans can always be counted on to do the right thing...after they have exhausted all other possibilities."
        -- Winston Churchill

  • by elrous0 (869638) * on Tuesday June 21, 2011 @11:48AM (#36513944)

    So, you can get health insurance for your family for 10,000 to 15,000 per year, and not have to pay much else.

    Tell me, do you actually consider your words before you start typing away? Do you have any idea how much money that is to the average family in the U.S.? The average household income in the U.S. is $31,000. And that's before taxes, rent, food, etc. Do you really think someone making $31K a year can afford $10K-$15 just for health insurance?

    Are you high, or just fucking stupid?

  • Re:Sad state of (Score:5, Insightful)

    by sqrt(2) (786011) on Tuesday June 21, 2011 @11:49AM (#36513962) Journal

    Then I have some really bad news for you.

    You're ALREADY paying for all those people you are so don't like. Yes, it's true, you pay in form of taxes which cover ER visits that never get paid by poor people (who are often also unhealthy, go figure); you pay in the form of higher insurance premiums so that health care can be profitable (and because the pool of people is much smaller); you pay in the form of your business having less healthy employees; you pay in the form of a more dangerous society, as more people get pushed into crime because they cannot afford to care for themselves even working full time.

    The jokes is really on you, because if you'd give up your ideological hatred for those people and for the idea that some social problems can be best tackled collectively through strategic actions by government, you'd end up paying less in taxes to cover Universal Healthcare than you currently pay for private insurance and all the unseen costs of having the terrible system we have today in the US.

    I understand your frustration, but you're advocating a position that actually ends up being counter productive to your stated goals.

  • by Intrepid imaginaut (1970940) on Tuesday June 21, 2011 @11:59AM (#36514168)

    That's pretty much it. This has to be one of the saddest stories I've ever heard.

  • The ones I do, do have this as a priority.

    The problem is the media no longer calls out BS. So when some gets yup and goes on about the cost of health care, invents thing that are not in the health care bill, goes out of there way to scare seniors, no major agency calls there bullshit.

    To not have federal level health care is the most stupid and expensive way to have healthcare.

  • by j-beda (85386) on Tuesday June 21, 2011 @12:17PM (#36514544) Homepage

    I don't really see other countries with universal care as "developed" in contrast to the US. Sure, they provide care to more people, and in the short term, things look great. But the reality is that none of these nations handle the real issue that is straight in the face of the US, rising healthcare costs. Universal care in other countries doesn't fix this. They just make someone else pay for it. In Japan, over 50% of the hospitals operate in the red. In Germany, doctors are forced to take substantially lower wages than in comparative countries, which has led to a number of protests consisting of tens of thousands of doctors and contributed to Germany's immigration deficit.

    The US system sucks, but it's a lot easier to fix than in these other nations.

    I don't agree. The types of problems that places like the EU countries and Canada are experiencing for example in their health care systems are ones of supply issues (wait times for example), payment formulas (hospital and physician payments for example), and coverage policy debates (what should be covered? IVF, sex changes, experimental, etc.) While these are significant issues, fundamentally the systems are working to provide reasonable care to the majority of the population without undue hardship on the individual or the society as a whole. Additionally, the potential changes to the existing systems to address current and future shortcomings are not mired in political difficulties in the way the politicization of healthcare in the US has made it virtually impossible to craft any significant reforms. In contrast to pretty much the rest of the "developed" world, the US is spending huge amounts on a per-capita basis, with large fractions of the population getting inadequate care at a very high cost to the individual and a very high cost to the economy. It is a very real challenge for a US company to provide health coverage to its workforce while still being competitive with a non-US company operating in a country with a more workable health-care system.

    Not that I disagree with all of redemtionboy's points. Greater competition, removal of conflicts of interest, better consumer knowledge, and all sorts of other tweaks could result in huge increases in efficiencies to the whole health care system. Fundamentally however I feel that healthcare is probably not something I want to be completely "market-driven" - particularly since I find it hard to believe that the market will inevitably be manipulated to the determent of the patient/customer.

  • by jiggerdot (976328) on Tuesday June 21, 2011 @12:34PM (#36514896) Homepage
    I've been following your president's admirable attempts at healthcare reform with quiet amusement (I live in Israel). The amount of debate your country puts in on this subject is utterly ridiculous. It's not hard - there are MANY countries around the world which have universal healthcare systems which function very well, without costing trillions of dollars. Why not copy one of those?

    Here, A portion of income tax is simply labelled "health tax", and is budgeted towards health insurance. It is mandatory and progressive. The insurance is provided by one of several private insurers, who must comply with minimum coverage guidelines set forth by the ministry of health, and they may offer complimentary insurance (which is not expansive - to the tune of 50$ per month per person, max). The most important condition - They CANNOT refuse you coverage.

    I honestly think it's a cultural issue - it would seem many US citizens simply can't get their heads around the fact that in a civilized society some services should not be operated for profit. Yes, it's limited socialism, but the cold war is over - you guys won. Get over the fear, guys.
  • " Universal care in other countries doesn't fix this. "
    Yes, in fact it can.

    Remember, much of are cots are acquired because we DON"T have UHC.

    Poor women go into ER to complain about 'Chest pains' and then mention they might be pregnant to gt a pregnancy kit. So they get 2000 in tests when all they really needed was a 15 dollar pregnancy kit.

    People go to ER to get treated for something that would have been substantial cheaper if they had access to a doctor to get treated right away instead of having to wait for an emergency.

    Dental issues are seldom considered an emergency.. until it's so infected that have to go to the ER because the infection is spreading to the brain.

    People get minimum they needed to get to treat the emergency, not the underling problem, so they come back every time a chronic problem becomes and emergency.

    And so on..

    We do pay for this, with higher Dr. and hospital costs, higher insurance rates.

    This doesn't even get into how not having UHC strangles many small and growing business.
    Get to a point where you need senior people? you will need to provide health care for those employees. This costs business a lot of money. If we all paid with taxes, then there would be less of a burden an small business.

    UHC lowers the cost of health. The market, by it's very nature, will not help people. There is NO competing for 50% of the population. given a free market, they have no choice.

    You're solution leads to great and cheep healthcare for the most well off people only, because insurance is about offsetting costs. SO it's in the business best interest to insure you until you leave the optimal area. so if your re 18-30, and make 150K+ a year, the 'free market' will be happy to help you.

    This is shown in history.

  • Re:Sad state of (Score:5, Insightful)

    by TheSpoom (715771) <slashdot@uberm00. n e t> on Tuesday June 21, 2011 @12:55PM (#36515258) Homepage Journal

    Now how are your strategic actions by the government going to help me end up paying less in taxes to cover that person's lung cancer?

    Because the US is (at least in theory) a civilized country, meaning that the person with lung cancer is going to be covered every time he goes to the ER anyway, as hospitals cannot refuse to give life-saving care. You're almost certainly paying more for the emergency care as they die than you would to give them the care they need to live.

    If you are in fact arguing that hospitals should refuse life-saving care on the basis of a lack of insurance, you're a horrible human being.

  • Re:Yeap (Score:4, Insightful)

    by TheSpoom (715771) <slashdot@uberm00. n e t> on Tuesday June 21, 2011 @12:58PM (#36515330) Homepage Journal

    Why the HELL aren't the Dems hammering on this point?

    "Campaign contributions" by insurance companies. That's the thing, in order to get universal healthcare, we need to enforce ethics rules that would eliminate the corruption in Congress and the Senate. In order to do so, we would need a majority of the Congress and Senate to vote for them...

  • is haiti, somalia

    meanwhile, evil socialist countries like denmark, uk: they live longer than us, and pay less on healthcare, and are just plain happier and less stressed

    universal healthcare is just insurance, that's all it is. there is no one who can opt out of healthcare because if you break your arm, we're not going to let you walk around with your arm dangling, we're going to treat you. THAT'S what makes it mandatory: simple human morality. you're going to hold it against your fellow citizens that we want you to be healthy. it's your "choice" not to be treated? or is it your "choice" to be treated AND NOT PAY FOR IT, freeloader? the freeloaders are not the stereotypical welfare queen, the freeloaders are the young "libertarians" who break their arm, go to the hospital, and then avoid the bill because they can't afford it!

    why are some americans so fucking deranged on the obvious benefits of universal healthcare, and how "choice" is MORE EXPENSIVE, the REAL freeloading, and less healthy? who don't people understand the obvious?

  • by bussdriver (620565) on Tuesday June 21, 2011 @01:45PM (#36516126)

    nope. Americans are suckered by propaganda; its all about emotions and not about facts and results. Just like global warming, for too many citizens its about their personal identity as a conservative or whatever and they can't be what they want/believe they are (and what is best) if they hold opposition positions-- its like the issues were made part of the definition of what they are... and they have been and it has been done under their nose--- instead of having them define their group they wish to belong to they define themselves to fit within the group. Ironic they are also such individualists...

  • by fyngyrz (762201) on Tuesday June 21, 2011 @02:09PM (#36516482) Homepage Journal

    Sure they have programs to let ex-cons re-enter the society

    These are sops; ex-cons are flat-out unemployable. Heck, even if you're *not* a con it's tough to find a job for most people. But if you are... you're done. You're never, ever going to re-integrate with society unless you have resources of your own that make getting a job unnecessary.

    The US is in the active process of creating a permanently unemployable underclass, consumed by rage and resentment, with a constantly increasing pool of criminal skills. The next "war" will be against this self-inflicted injury to society, and you can bet your last red cent it will consume the tattered rags of liberty remaining to non-felons today... felons are just a little ahead of the curve.

  • by Hylandr (813770) on Tuesday June 21, 2011 @02:14PM (#36516542) Homepage

    Welcome to the US legal health system.

    FTFY.

    - Dan.

  • by Benfea (1365845) on Tuesday June 21, 2011 @04:27PM (#36519074)

    Are you [bad word] kidding me? In the process of creating a permanently unemployable underclass? As in present progressive tense? No, you should use the past tense. Try "have created" instead.

    The conservatives and libertarians threw much of our rights under the bus in order to elect "tough on crime" candidates. Not only did this undermine our constitutional rights and create a giant prison industry that rivals the military industrial complex (why didn't anyone hold their feet to the fire for massively expanding government while campaigning as the "small government" crowd?), but creating a permanently unemployable underclass was the whole [bad word] point.

    Conservative/libertarian economic philosophy has been undermining the middle class since the days of Reagan. One of the ways conservatives and libertarians have been able to mask this fact was by transferring large numbers of the working poor into prison, thus reducing job-seeking competition for people falling from the middle class into the upper reaches of the working poor. Without this part of the strategy, those riots you see in Wisconsin, Michigan and other places would have started happening a long time ago.

  • by hazydave (96747) on Tuesday June 21, 2011 @04:45PM (#36519378)

    Incidently... thanks to big fat Chris Christie (Jersey governor), my wife's insurance, formerly a benefit (teachers have typically had great benefits and lousy pay... as an engineer working at startups for the last few years, I'm usually dealing with good pay and lousy benefits), may cost as much as $6,000 this next year, to cover our family of four. As with many of the Republican governors, Christie has been working hard to effectively increase taxes on teachers, firemen, police, and other public employees, so he can afford the tax breaks previously given to the richest in the state.

    Of course, what he's effectively done is killed an untold number of small businesses. It's an on-going thing... we lost a couple locally already this year (Woodstown/Pilesgrove), even a liquor store. Those are supposed to do well in bad economies...

    The rich are already the richest (compared to the average) they've been since before the great depression -- additional income does nothing. Same with businesses -- additional income does absolutely nothing to grow a business. Additional demand for a product or service is the thing that grows a business. And these new sideways taxes have just ensured that a big chunk of the New Jersey middle class will have thousands less to spend this year and next.

    That's important to understand -- the poor and the middle class spend all of their income; the rich don't. So additional lower end income boosts an economy, additional higher end income alone does nothing to the local economy. Boosting everyone's income boosts the economy, but only for a very short time.. things do ultimately stabilize around supply and demand... the price of things in short supply go up, and eventually, no one sees that income boost any longer. But I digress...

  • by elrous0 (869638) * on Tuesday June 21, 2011 @04:59PM (#36519612)

    hurting a lawyer gets you the same penalty as hurting a human

    It used to technically be a "cruelty to animals" charge, until the animals complained.

  • "It's all very well and good for the Danish that you claim they are happy and pay less. Like I said - move there if you find it superior. It should be a pareto improvement for both of us: you get what you want, I get what I want (freedom from your bullshit)"

    no, sorry, see: it's my country, and i love it. and i will not let faux news propagandized idiots ruin the country i love. so i'm going to fight for it, for what is right and what makes sense, against the unintelligent brainwashed morons of the world. and we're going to prevail. because we have reason, sense, and facts on our side

    "I am not ultimately concerned with metrics or outcomes, I am concerned with principles and ethics"

    what do i do? laugh at this sentence? like i said: unintelligent. brainwashed. your sentence makes no sense

    if a country has inferior healthcare (yes, it's inferior, despite any anecdote you have), at higher prices, something is wrong. something is wrong ethically, and something is wrong in the principles. why do you continue to defend an inferior, more expensive system? not because you know anything superior, but because you're stubborn, and proud of your ignorance, that's all

    you need more facts, less ignorant attitude:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_infant_mortality_rate [wikipedia.org]

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_life_expectancy [wikipedia.org]

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_total_health_expenditure_(PPP)_per_capita [wikipedia.org]

    those are the facts. argue all you want. fact: the usa gets inferior healthcare, and spends much more per capita. FACT, asshole. deal with it

    where do they live longer and spend less? where they have universal healthcare. FACT, asshole. deal with it

    so we are going to get to a superior financial, AND ETHICAL world, with better principles, in spite of your strideful ignorance. sorry, you lose. not enough corporate propaganda to remove functional braincells in me, and many others. sorry

"The vast majority of successful major crimes against property are perpetrated by individuals abusing positions of trust." -- Lawrence Dalzell

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