Monday, June 20, 2011

North Carolina Man Desperately Commits a Crime in attempt to get Prison Health Care

When I look at this man I don't see a Criminal I see a Desperate Sick Man who is trying to Survive and possibly save his Life. His eyes are sad showing a life that has suffered and is struggling. Many news stations were telling his story, but they kept focusing on his alleged "Crime" , and making accusations or even joking questioning his Sanity. Not one station reported his situation for the Crisis it is. And Truthfully maybe it is a Crime that we don't have Health care for All at this point, for if we did he would not have had to choose the Path he chose.....

Let's Learn more about this man and what led to his "Crime". Richard James Verome is 59 years old. He worked for Coca Cola for over 17 years as a Delivery Driver taking care of his customers. Three years ago he was laid off, and since then he has struggled to find work and keep a roof over his head. He finally found part time work at a convenience store. But the long hours standing and the lifting led to Health problems. His back was developing disc problems and he was experiencing arthritis and problems with his left foot. But when he noticed a protuberance growing on his chest, he realized that this growth may be severe, even life threatening. But for the past 3 years there had been no Health care for any of these issues, and this new issue made him realize that he needed Some Kind of Healthcare.

James Verome had never had complaints or problems at his work. He worked hard. He has no Criminal History or history of concern or even any stability issues. He was just a Middle aged man who was laid off after a Long History with one company and like Millions of Americans was not able to find New Employment. Millions of Americans have lost their jobs since 2007 and No One has mentioned that they need Health care, that when they are unemployed there is no money to purchase Expensive Cobra, so they go without. And Mr Verome's life became one such life, he worked at the Convenience Store, the only job he could find and he lived at the Hampton Inn. There were small meals and much stress. He struggled with his back and Disc problems, and with a sore left foot, but he kept working trying to hold his life together. But then the Growth on his chest appeared.

So he did the Unthinkable, he Chose his ONLY option. He decided in a logical way to Choose Prison as his Health care Provider. He gave away possessions even. Then Last Thursday he quietly went to the RBC Bank and said that he was robbing them for one dollar, he had no gun , but he carefully said he did, hoping that would give him a maximum sentence so he could get health care. He rationalized that he could at least be in prison until then he could get Medicare. He had sought Care from Social Services and all he qualified for was limited food assistance, but no other kind of care or help. So maybe we can see he was left with no options and no help. So this summer as his Life Savings dwindled away after living on them for 3 years, he made the worst kind of choices that a man has to make to survive.

Mr.Verone is not alone in his struggle or desperate situation. 51 Million Americans are still UnInsured, Millions more UnderInsured and of the current UnEmployed No News Media ever reports how many are actually UnInsured, but estimates are starting at 9 Million. Add to this 49 Million are on Food Stamps, highest ever. And still 45,000 Americans are dying per year with Health Care. Why would anyone want to be part of those Statistics, for those mere numbers tell a Nightmare of a Story for Millions of Americans. It is easier to understand, what Mr.Verone did was Desperate, but these are indeed Desperate Times.
"In an interview with WNCN-TV, first broadcast Sunday, Richard James Verone said he has no medical insurance, but has an undiagnosed growth on his chest, two ruptured disks in his back and a problem with his foot.The 59-year-old has no job and no money, so he said he decided to rob a bank in a bid to get medical care.Last Thursday he walked into a branch of the RBC Bank in Gastonia, N.C. and handed a teller a note which asked for one dollar -- then he sat in a chair waiting for the police to arrive.

"I wanted to make it known that this wasn't for monetary reasons, but for medical reasons," he said in his interview from behind bars. "If it is called manipulation, then out of necessity because I need medical care then I guess I am manipulating the courts to get medical care," he said.

"At some point, Americans need to grow up and accept that providing single-payer, government-paid health care for the entire country is not only mandatory — it is the only morally acceptable choice." From John Thorpe of Benzinga.Com
"An institution or reform movement that is not selfish, must originate in the recognition of some evil that is adding to the sum of human suffering, or diminishing the sum of happiness." Clara Barton
It is important to recognize that there is Suffering around us, and it is being contributed to by Larger Circumstances and Greed and Ignorance. And that Mr.Verone is not a criminal and not greedy, he is just a man trying to Survive Desperate Times.
Sources on Mr.Verome's Desperate Crime:
(1) Gaston Gazette has more details about his life and the actual crime.

(2) SFGate asks some really hard questions what led a 59 yr old man to such an act......

(3) FOX Atlanta posted the Interview that they got from him behind bars.

(4) Do Reread this Option Post/Editorial May 2009 from Senator Teddy Kennedy HCR post about WHY we need Single Payer Healthcare and Why Health care is A Right for all Americans, not a privelege .

(5) John Thorpe's Post on


Fran said...

He did what he had to do. It was a smart move, on his part really. Figure out a way to make the system work for him. So sad it came to that.
I can understand how he felt there was no other option.

Some people may be making similar choices for food & housing as well.

So when I hear Bachmann talk about how she won;t rest until "Obamacare" is repealed.. I thnk they had to fight so hard just to get that *crumb of reform*.
The frigging for profit insurance companies still run the show...

Calling it Obamacare is juvenile name calling... it is health care reform & right now it is all we've got. VS nothing .

She'd rather we have nothing at all.

Carolyn Moon (Amina) said...

Chronic pain syndrome with no hope of a cure can be quite daunting. Palliative care is usually the only option. When the insurance runs out or you lose your job and benefits–the lack of pain medication or procedures used to contain it can drive some folks to desperate acts.

The best comedians can’t make this funny especially for most of us who have some compassion for human suffering.