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Unemployed and without health insurance, James Verone attempted a robbery of $1 at a bank in North Carolina to have himself arrested in order to receive medical treatment.

James Verone at the Gaston County jail, 06/22/11. (photo: Ben Goff/The Gaston Gazette)
James Verone at the Gaston County jail, 06/22/11. (photo: Ben Goff/The Gaston Gazette)

US Man Robs Bank to Get Healthcare

By Ed Pilkington, Guardian UK

22 June 11


Unemployed and without health insurance, man in North Carolina has himself arrested in order to receive treatment.

t was not perhaps the most obvious way of getting a bad back, arthritis and a dodgy foot seen to. But if you're unemployed in North Carolina with no health insurance, there is no obvious way.

So on 9 June James Verone left his Gastonia home, took a ride to a bank and carried out a robbery. Well, sort of.

What he did was hand the clerk a note that said: "This is a bank robbery, please only give me one dollar." Then, as he later told the local NBC news station, he calmly sat in the corner of the bank having told the clerk: "I'll be sitting right over there in the chair waiting for the police."

Before his peculiarly modest robbery, Verone, 59, sent a letter to the Gaston Gazette. "When you receive this a bank robbery will have been committed by me for one dollar. I am of sound mind but not so much sound body."

He invited the paper to send a reporter to interview him in Gaston county jail, where he is now in custody facing charges of stealing from a person (for just $1 the prosecutors didn't think they could hold up a bank robbery charge).

He told the paper he had lost his job after 17 years as a Coca-Cola delivery man, and with it his health insurance. He was in increasing pain from slipped discs, arthritic joints, a gammy foot and a growth on his chest.

Since being in the jail he has attained his goal: he has been seen by nurses and an appointment with a doctor is booked. your social media marketing partner


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+1 # universlman 2011-06-22 12:21
one way or another everyone is covered in our health care system
+33 # BradFromSalem 2011-06-22 13:00
So lets do it the cheapest, most efficient way possible - Medicare for all medical needs, for all persons, paid by all. One form, no copay, no deductable, no life limits, no preexisting conditions (including not being born here), no religious exclusions (e.g. abortions).
+13 # RSJ 2011-06-22 16:51
His mistake, of course, is that he didn't work at the bank as an executive. Then he would have gotten a bonus as well as health insurance and a fat paycheck for his robbery.
0 # Adoregon 2011-06-23 12:25
+12 # boudreaux 2011-06-22 12:22
He choose well, if he had not choosen a federal prison he would not have gotten this kind of healthcare. There is a big difference between state and federal. They could give a shit less how you are in state prison yet in federal prison they treat you very well, that is why most of our elite go to federal prisons. They do not suffer any kind on neglect unlike state prisoners.
I for one would love to see some of the CEO's and bankers go to state prisons and end up in the kitchen and out in the fields hoeing...that would give me some satisfaction... .
+9 # BradFromSalem 2011-06-22 13:01
Great point. Maybe its a good thing that the wall street criminals are mainly being prosecuted by the states.
+28 # BradFromSalem 2011-06-22 12:26
I would love to see this type of action become nationwide. The Ninety Niners should walk into banks, submit a note telling the bank they are being held up for the amount of their last unemployment check.
The banks, will ignore them. But the protester/robbe rs should remain peacefully at the bank until they either get the $$ or are arrested. If arrested, they get shelter, food, and healthcare.

When they can't pay the loitering fine, the police will have to arrest them again. Within a matter of weeks the costs of arrests, jail time, etc. etc. will outweigh the cost of the benefits. Will the stupid Republicans do the decent thing?

This man is a hero!
+8 # Lulie 2011-06-22 14:44
I agree. This is genius!
+7 # sshoemak51 2011-06-22 12:55
Maybe it's just me - but does anyone else think this guy looks like George Carlin?
...Wonder what he would have said about the state of our health care system...
+12 # Clear Vision 2011-06-22 13:16
This is just plain pathetic. The Empire has crumbled. When lack of health care causes wide spread disease, the CEOs of health care corporations will find themselves and their loved ones destroyed by their own greed. Don't fool yourselves -- nobody will be spared.

Stupid greedy GOP.
+22 # hank 2011-06-22 13:19
Everyone who is against nationwide healthcare should be embarrassed by this account.
+7 # Kootenay Coyote 2011-06-22 21:25
In a barbarian nation, barbarian methods work. I’m not being funny.
+3 # Sakinah Hyman 2011-06-22 23:34
WELL i know how he feels thank God robbing a bank never crossed my spirit but i have $200,000+ in hospital bills from 2 years of unemployment and i truly sympathize with him but i aint going to jail for nuthin honey LOL
+1 # imapony 2011-06-23 04:32
What is a "gammy foot"?
+1 # boudreaux 2011-06-23 07:54
It's a sore or lame foot. I looked it up on the internet and also watched a man with it on YOuTube and it looks like something I sure don't want to be around. Nasty...
0 # Jimmy V 2011-06-23 17:37
Verone has a huge FB fan page following and his dot com is soaring in value at
0 # Ntale Hassan 2011-08-03 01:37
Its all about poverty.

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