When you’re sick, out of work and have depleted all financial resources, how do you get health care in the world’s richest country? If you don’t know, take a little advice from James Richard Verone. He may have it all figured out.
So, what did Mr. Verone do? On June 9th, he robbed a bank. He’s already been seen by a few nurses, is scheduled to see a doctor for his painful ailments and all this occurs less than ten days after committing the crime. His needs will be met faster than someone paying for an HMO health care plan. Does crime pay even when you get caught? Maybe yes.
James Richard Verone doesn’t appear to be a bad man. The 59 year old was never in trouble with the law until he reached a point of desperation two weeks ago. Needing medical care, he gave notice to the landlord, sold and gave away his possessions and then checked into a motel. After showering and ironing his shirt, he mailed a letter to the local newspaper outlining his coming crime and then hailed a cab to a nearby RBC Bank. Once inside, he made the $1 robbery demand and waited in a chair until the police came. He was arrested, received needed medical attention and has a place to stay while healing and awaiting trial – it was that simple. Mr. Verone is looking to spend time in jail until he can collect social security and then move near the beach. This is probably a reasonable plan for someone in his position and age.
What does the mini crime spree by Mr. Verone say about the state of health care in this country? The US health care system absolutely sucks! Health is one area where unbridled capitalism does not work. Private insurance equates to lack of affordability because of its inefficient administration costs, needed profit margins to satisfy investors and the $300 million dollars each company needs for CEO pay. Not to mention, they make more profit by rejecting medical claims.
The Verone Health Care Plan is obviously unrealistic except for a few desperate people and, maybe, a few brave activists trying to prove a point. Is there an easy answer for far-reaching health care, probably not but America, the richest and most powerful country, can do better. Experiment! Open Medicare to all ages and let the infusion of money help pay for the elderly and disabled. The expanded pool of participants will lower costs through economies of scale.
Oh, but wait, that’s a single payer system and not the American way.
Isn’t it sad when the Incarceration Nation is more comfortable throwing someone in jail to receive medical attention than it is accepting a health care system affordable to all?
Roger Ingalls is well travelled and has seen the good and bad of many foreign governments. He hopes his blogging will encourage readers to think more deeply about the American political system and its impact on US citizens and the international community.