What do you do if you need medical care but cannot afford a visit to the emergency room? James Richard Verone thought of a creative way to get the job done, he robbed a bank for $1 in order to receive medical care for free in jail.
According to Yahoo News, the 59-year-old convenience store clerk walked into a Gaston, N.C., bank and a handed the cashier a note demanding $1 and medical attention. He is said to have waited calmly for the police to arrive. Verone is currently in jail and has an appointment with a doctor scheduled for this week.
Verone’s problems started when he lost the job he had held for 17 years as a Coca Cola deliveryman during the economic downturn. He found another job again as a truck driver, but it didn’t last. Finally, Verone took a part-time position at the convenience store.
Being older, Verone has begun to struggle with multiple ailments including back pain, a limp, carpal tunnel, and arthritis yet that never held him back. However, when he found a protrusion on his chest he knew he needed medical attention. Already receiving food stamps and struggling with expenses, Verone, hatched a plan to get himself the medical attention he needed.
On June 9th before he went to the bank, he mailed a letter to the Gazette listing the return address as the Gaston County Jail. Verone wrote in the letter “This robbery is being committed by me for one dollar. I am of sound mind but not so much sound body.”
Being that Verone only demanded $1, he was charged with larceny, not robbery. Verone said that if his punishment isn’t severe enough, he plans to tell the judge he will do it again. Verone has already seen some nurses in jail and is scheduled to see a doctor on Friday. Verone is hoping to receive foot and back surgery, and have the protrusion on his chest taken care of. The next part of his plan is to stay in jail long enough so that he can collect Social Security after he gets out and move to the beach.
Verone has presented the view that if the United States offered a health-care system whereby people had more government support he wouldn’t have been forced to make the decision he did. President Obama’s Affordable Care Act, which was designed to make it easier for people like Verone to get health insurance won’t be in effect until 2014.