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

samzenpus posted more than 3 years ago | from the three-squares-a-cot-and-a-physical dept.

Idle 950

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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950 comments

Sad, but I can see doing it too (5, Insightful)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 3 years ago | (#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.

Re:Sad, but I can see doing it too (5, Insightful)

WrongSizeGlass (838941) | more than 3 years ago | (#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.

Re:Sad, but I can see doing it too (2)

krazytekn0 (1069802) | more than 3 years ago | (#36513490)

but until then he's still in Jail, you know how long it takes something to go to trial? at MINIMUM 1-2 years.

Re:Sad, but I can see doing it too (5, Interesting)

Hazel Bergeron (2015538) | more than 3 years ago | (#36513504)

So what you're saying is that he'll have to commit a more serious crime?

Re:Sad, but I can see doing it too (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36513512)

The DA & prosecutor aren't stupid - they'll want to discourage this type of activity.

You're assuming the DA & prosecutor aren't stupid.

Re:Sad, but I can see doing it too (2)

gl4ss (559668) | more than 3 years ago | (#36513548)

breaking a house arrest to get into a real prison is.. well, fuck, it's much easier than robbing a bank of 1$. and doing something to get more time in the prison is easy too, like, getting drugs and then getting caught for them. for a good prison time he should have probably done a finance crime of federal proportions? I guess just showing up naked at the town house wouldn't cut it nowadays..

Re:Sad, but I can see doing it too (1)

Rogerborg (306625) | more than 3 years ago | (#36513556)

You mean making the mistake of not harming anyone? I'm sure the next guy to try this will take careful note of that.

Re:Sad, but I can see doing it too (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 3 years ago | (#36513610)

Which means he just wont pay for it and thus go to jail, or will break house arrest and turn himself in for the same result.

Re:Sad, but I can see doing it too (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36513656)

What happens if you don't pay? They kick you out of prison?

Re:Sad, but I can see doing it too (5, Funny)

BSAtHome (455370) | more than 3 years ago | (#36513658)

Why do you assume he has a house?

House-arrest for a homeless. That'll be nice. Please stay on the corner of 5th and west st. for the duration of your time to be served.

Re:Sad, but I can see doing it too (2)

davidiii (1983894) | more than 3 years ago | (#36513862)

He's reporteded to have already gone to jail and has reportedly seen several nurses already and has a doctor's appointment on Friday. http://www.democracynow.org/2011/6/21/headlines#13 [democracynow.org]

Re:Sad, but I can see doing it too (0)

FudRucker (866063) | more than 3 years ago | (#36513450)

RE: "2) Be real poor. This will usually qualify you for Medicaid--which sucks, but is also better than nothing."

unless your a white male then no matter how poor you are you wont get a damn thing, i know because i been in that boat before and that is exactly what i got (nothing from them), luckily i managed to pull myself out of it and become a breadwinner again...

Not a troll, just curious (1)

bradley13 (1118935) | more than 3 years ago | (#36513558)

Not a troll, just curious: What keeps white males from getting on Medicaid? Clearly you mean some form of sexism/racism, but what form does it take?

Re:Not a troll, just curious (2)

pluther (647209) | more than 3 years ago | (#36513950)

It depends on the state. Being white has nothing to do with it - it's not a factor. But many (possibly most? Maybe all, I haven't investigated most states) have different programs available for women, including pre-natal, post-natal, and breast cancer funds, much of which can be stretched to cover other things. If you go in for one thing, treatment may, in some circumstances, be extended to everything that could affect it. It's not always easy, and it's not the greatest, but it is, as the original poster mentioned, better than nothing.

Re:Sad, but I can see doing it too (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36513588)

I had the exact same experience, meanwhile every illegal that couldn't speak English received food stamps, health care, welfare and job training assistance.

Re:Sad, but I can see doing it too (1)

demonlapin (527802) | more than 3 years ago | (#36513592)

Don't even have to be white. If you're male, no degree of poverty will qualify you for Medicaid. Disability, however, will.

Re:Sad, but I can see doing it too (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36513750)

Also if you are a divorced unemployed mother, with a deadbeat ex-husband who owes child support you can become ineligible for medicaid or any other government services, because that $350k+ that he owes you might come through one day.

Re:Sad, but I can see doing it too (5, Informative)

Hazel Bergeron (2015538) | more than 3 years ago | (#36513480)

I'm sorry that it's so tough for you guys in the US. Here in the UK, Cameron (like Reagan's mini-me Thatcher and various oddly-admired gentlemen all the way back to half-American Churchill) is trying his best to turn us into the 51st state.

But it turns out that quite a lot of British people love the NHS. And, imperfect as all human endeavours will be, so do I. And I don't just love it in principle - I, like almost everyone in the UK, have experienced and benefitted from it.

(I also have experienced US healthcare. Oh dear. The US does a few things very right - why must it get some things so wrong?)

Re:Sad, but I can see doing it too (5, Insightful)

gclef (96311) | more than 3 years ago | (#36513830)

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

Re:Sad, but I can see doing it too (1, Funny)

0100010001010011 (652467) | more than 3 years ago | (#36513906)

The US does a few things very right - why must it get some things so wrong?)

We rank up there with Mexico and Turkey as the only developed country without universal health care.
And with such industrious countries as Liberia & Myanmar that aren't on Metric yet.

USA USA USA.

Re:Sad, but I can see doing it too (3, Insightful)

DreadPiratePizz (803402) | more than 3 years ago | (#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.

Re:Sad, but I can see doing it too (2)

swanzilla (1458281) | more than 3 years ago | (#36513574)

I suspect you have yet to make a substantial claim. Protip: Don't count on that max out-of-pocket being the end of the story.

Re:Sad, but I can see doing it too (1)

SpongeBob Hitler (1848328) | more than 3 years ago | (#36513582)

Sounds great. I had a similar experience when I was young and healthy. Now, all you have to do is keep yourself from growing old.

Re:Sad, but I can see doing it too (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 3 years ago | (#36513678)

Your policy will be canceled the first time you go over the out of pocket, well maybe not canceled but not renewed at that price. You will also not be able to afford it once you stop being young.

Are you sure this is not a group policy?

Re:Sad, but I can see doing it too (5, Insightful)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | more than 3 years ago | (#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:Sad, but I can see doing it too (1)

Jibekn (1975348) | more than 3 years ago | (#36513810)

Thats a horrible system..

150 AND you have a deductible?!

I pay 54$ per month, for my entire family, and that's only because we have a combined income over the poverty line, as you move towards the line, the monthly costs moves to 0.

I pay 0 for hospital, clinic and dr visits, with no yearly cap. Ambulance ride are 75$ a pop if needed, and hospital beds do come with a charge, but they're less than a local motel, around 40$ per night. I truly feel sorry for you Americans if what you described you consider a 'good deal' the rest of the world call it a rip off :(

Re:Sad, but I can see doing it too (4, Informative)

moonbender (547943) | more than 3 years ago | (#36513846)

FWIW, approximately the same amount of money pays for full private coverage in Germany. (Most people pay far less, unemployed people pay nothing.) Visits to the doctor, prescription meds, glasses, hospital stays and surgery are basically all covered 100%. If you don't need the coverage for a full quarter, a part of the fees is returned.

Re:Sad, but I can see doing it too (5, Interesting)

Sir_Sri (199544) | more than 3 years ago | (#36513872)

$1500 is a lot when you're out of work. And more to the point, how often can that 1500 re-occur? Admittedly I'm in canada so we don't treat people like they'll have to pay out of pocket. But my best friend at 29 had cancer. He was admitted, sent home, re-admitted to hospital several times in a week, and 3 times in one day. It wasn't even that the hospital was trying to be rid of him, he just had a lot of different parts of his body failing in different ways and they'd solve one problem, send him home (because the feeling is you recover better at home) and 2 days later something else would go wrong.

He's sorted out health wise now. But that's beside the point. If you end up in hospital multiple times in a month, how often will your insurance re-bill you.

What does "full coverage" mean? Prescription drugs? Do you have a co-pay? If you have a deductible of 1500 in hospital care (or something like that) it's certainly not 'full'. What if you go to a hospital in a different city than where you live? Does your insurance company approve (or not) of places you can go? Also, under what conditions can they drop your coverage. That was the trick with my friend, as he learned through friends in various support groups. In the US the first time you get cancer you're probably covered by insurance. But the moment they think you're cured for 3 months they drop your ass like a rock, and no one else will touch you with a 100 metre, I'm sorry, foot, pole, and then you're in deep shit.

Re:Sad, but I can see doing it too (5, Informative)

cob666 (656740) | more than 3 years ago | (#36513536)

While I agree with everything you said I will say that I am currently self employed and paying for my own health insurance, my monthly premiums are just over 600 per month (I'm 45 and in pretty good health). While routine visits are paid for I still have a $30 co-pay for every doctor visit and usually a $25 co-pay for prescriptions (although I have paid higher for more costly medication). Anything other than routine requires pre-authorization from the insurance company and is more times than not declined with no explanation the first or even second time my doctor requests it (such as physical therapy for a knee). Also, every year my premiums increase by 10-15 percent and my premiums are almost to the point where I will NOT be able to afford that monthly cost.

Re:Sad, but I can see doing it too (2)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#36513738)

A lot of people forget about that. What's worse is that for somebody in their 40s, you've got it easy, a lot of people can't get insurance at all no matter how much money they have. I would have been in that position were it not for my state having a pool for anybody that can pay, regardless of health condition. It's much more expensive than the other options, but at least it's there for those that can afford it.

In many states, those folks wouldn't have any insurance at all.

Makes me wonder how ignorant a person would have to be to believe that repeal and replace is a wise move over just fixing the problems in the current reform package. The one which requires at least 80% of individual and small group policies to be spent on things that are actually related to healthcare and 85% of policies for larger groups. Even without anything else, that's enough to justify not doing a full repeal.

Re:Sad, but I can see doing it too (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 3 years ago | (#36513744)

$7200/year is something many people could not afford at all. I would wager the majority of American families could not swing it.

Re:Sad, but I can see doing it too (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36513860)

$600/mo? Cancel your plan, invest, and give half to a relative who agrees to take you in should the hospital try to take your assets. That's $7200/year. 5 healthy years would cover some extreme medical expenses. 10 healthy years and you could put yourself through medical school to be your own physician and be on the receiving side of insurance.

Paying cash meanwhile (assuming no new kids) is cheaper and you get exactly what you want.
Broken arm - $600
Flu $250
mild illness @Minute Clinic $100

Having kids can cost over $10,000 in a hospital - recommend insurance for newlyweds unless $20,000 has been saved.

Re:Sad, but I can see doing it too (2)

ultramk (470198) | more than 3 years ago | (#36513562)

There's another option you're missing.
8) Make enough money to buy an individual insurance plan on your own. It's extremely expensive, and will probably be a big portion of your income unless you're pretty well-off, but people do it.

Otherwise good list, although I would quibble with 7... pretty much all full-time government workers get pretty damn good health care plans, not just the high ranking ones.

Re:Sad, but I can see doing it too (1)

ImaLamer (260199) | more than 3 years ago | (#36513850)

Add to that - don't already be sick. At all. Nothing. Because you will be an automatic decline.

Otherwise, thanks to "Obamacare" you can get in on your state's high risk health pool... which is the only other real option for most people, who have something and thus are trying to find coverage. That's what capitalistic medicine produces - a system where you can never be sick.

Re:Sad, but I can see doing it too (1)

TheLink (130905) | more than 3 years ago | (#36514002)

There's another option you're missing.
8) Make enough money to buy an individual insurance plan on your own. It's extremely expensive, and will probably be a big portion of your income unless you're pretty well-off, but people do it.

For some people that sounds very similar to option 9)
9) Buy a lottery ticket and win a lot of money. ;).

Re:Sad, but I can see doing it too (3, Informative)

ShavedOrangutan (1930630) | more than 3 years ago | (#36514082)

There's another option you're missing. 8) Make enough money to buy an individual insurance plan on your own. It's extremely expensive, and will probably be a big portion of your income unless you're pretty well-off, but people do it.

40 year old male, Kaiser - $8k deductible - 80% coverage afterwards = $148/month. It goes up to $400/month for no deductible, but a doctor visit is only about $150 out of pocket, so I don't see why people buy cadillac plans unless they're very frequently sick.

Anyways, it's not that expensive.

Re:Sad, but I can see doing it too (1, Informative)

characterZer0 (138196) | more than 3 years ago | (#36513666)

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.

If you have a job that does not provide health insurance, they can probably still get it for you through their payroll processor and deduct it from your paycheck; then you do not even have to pay income tax on that money. You can get a family policy for under 10,000 USD per year. Have some money taken out pre-tax and put into an HSA to cover what you have to pay to cover your deducible. This will be about 4,000 USD per year for a family of four.

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

Oh, you would rather have two cars, cable, and a big house than health insurance? That is your choice, stop whining to me about it.

Re:Sad, but I can see doing it too (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36513786)

The national median household income is $45,000.

So that's $30,000 to $35,000 to live on for rent, food, water, power, shelter...

And, frankly, that's not much for a family these days.

Re:Sad, but I can see doing it too (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36513922)

...Oh, you would rather have two cars, cable, and a big house than health insurance? That is your choice, stop whining to me about it.

Actually, nobody was whining to you specifically; you jumped into the conversation: We get it, you old bag of wrinkles...we'll get off your lawn now.

Re:Sad, but I can see doing it too (5, Insightful)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 3 years ago | (#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, but I can see doing it too (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36513706)

Some years ago i caugh pneumonia while visiting orlando and i was like wtf i was lucky that my health insurance covered everything.
The medics at the hospital looked like they were selling health " you need to do this exam it costs $x yay or nay?" then another, then another... there were to things crossing my mind..

1) So many people must die here from easily cured illnesses
2) 1st world my ass

I really really cannot understand how such a developed country can treat it's citizens like this and worse than that why so many people in that same country are against a national health plan..

This happened in 92... one decade later it seems nothing has changed..

meh....

Re:Sad, but I can see doing it too (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36513718)

Wow, you forgot option 0, the one everybody who is not insured actually uses.

0) Go to the ER as they are legally not allowed to turn away anybody, even if you don't have a cent to your name.

Yeah, I agree our healthcare system sucks as a whole (though I personally like my plan--I hate going to the ER because it's overrun), but don't pretend like there is an epidemic of people who need urgent care but are turned away.

Your last point about the cost of care is also rather overblown. Tell your doctor you won't be using insurance but will be paying cash and watch that bill drop.

Re:Sad, but I can see doing it too (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36513728)

He can also apply for some of the programs made available through the new healthcare bill, such as insurance for people with pre-existing conditions (https://www.pcip.gov/Default.html). Again, not ideal but better than nothing.

Re:Sad, but I can see doing it too (2, Interesting)

redemtionboy (890616) | more than 3 years ago | (#36513788)

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. Currently we have a corporatist system that favors corporations and restricts the freedom of the consumer. Government has picked winners and losers and restricted the consumer from making decisions on their own.. If you want to get lower prices and better care, you need to take the restrictions off of the individual and give them the same benefits and freedoms that an employer gets. By not endorsing HMOs and taking the restrictions off of HSAs, we allow increased competition in the market which leads to lower prices. We can see this actively working in areas of the medical field where people pay mostly cash for services such as ophthalmology or cosmetic surgery. Increased competition has resulted in significantly lower prices than in comparative medical fields.

With an HSA, I am in charge of my treatment and spending, and it matters. When I had an HMO, I went to the first place on the list that my health insurance provider recommended. I didn't care about the cost, because all I had to worry about was the copay. But now that I have an HSA, I am responsible for paying that first $2500 of my medical expenses out of my pocket. Now, that $2500 + my premium is still substantially cheaper than the HMO premiums I would be paying, but by making me consciously in charge of my medical expenditures, I am going to avoid paying as much of that $2500 as possible. I needed to get a sleep study done, and I called several places and found quotes ranging from $1000 to $3000. That's a huge difference in price. Active competition in the market rewards those with the better offers and punishes those who are overpriced. We don't have that in the US system. we instead run a system of corporatism where there is no direct competition and there are no negotiable prices. This is not capitalism. This is corporatism.

If you want to help people, the real answer is to lower the cost of medical care. This is the only real long term solution. Everything else just delays the inevitable.

Re:Sad, but I can see doing it too (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36513964)

Why do you refuse to accept that a national health care system will help solve the cost issue as well as the availability issue?
Oh yea, libertarian..

What about other needs? (1)

mangu (126918) | more than 3 years ago | (#36513794)

Think of food, housing, clothes, everything you need to live. Don't you have to pay for those? Then why should someone else pay for your health care?

The problem with health care in the US is not that you have to pay for it, the problem is that it's so expensive. It's expensive for several reasons, among which one of the most important is the tort law in the US which is totally fucked up.

People who sue doctors for medical malpractice can make the most absurd claims and the jury will still give them millions in damages. The result is that doctors must shield themselves by prescribing an array of unneeded tests just to prove that they did their best to diagnose any possible ailment.

Begin with tort law reform and health care reform will not be necessary.

Re:Sad, but I can see doing it too (0)

ShavedOrangutan (1930630) | more than 3 years ago | (#36513804)

Let me simplify.

It's really not that hard.

1. When you're young, be on your parents policy or buy your own. It costs the same as an iPod. A young person without health insurance is making poor decisions.
2. When you're older, have a career. An older person without health insurance is making poor decisions.
3. When you're old, the government already provides.

Worst case, there are free clinics (there's one in my town open every Wednesday) and a hospital can't turn anyone away.

This whole article is a troll. Everyone I know has health care they're happy with and none of them want the federal government interfering with it.

Re:Sad, but I can see doing it too (1)

spiffmastercow (1001386) | more than 3 years ago | (#36514076)

This whole article is a troll. Everyone I know has health care they're happy with and none of them want the federal government interfering with it.

Just because you don't know anyone below the 95th percentile in earnings doesn't mean they don't exist.

Re:Sad, but I can see doing it too (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36513986)

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.

Ummm.... I'm paying about $130 a month for the best individual plan that my health care provider offers. While I'm not 59 years old, like the guy in TFA, I did have to declare health issues before being accepted for coverage, which did raise the premium from the default, but I shopped around and got the best rate available to me. People assume that health care costs are ridiculously expensive, but never bother to actually take a look at the real rates.

A single emergency room visit could easily bankrupt even a moderately well-off individual.

With my coverage, an ER visit will cost me a whopping total of $500. This includes crazy expensive extras like ambulance transportation.

Re:Sad, but I can see doing it too (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36513992)

There is a slight exaggeration here and one which, for the sake of any here who might need to know this, I must correct. The common perception that one must get health insurance either from the government or from an employer is false. My wife works nine months of every year at a state park. Even though she works forty hours per week, she is not considered full time by the state on account of the park shutting down during the winter. Therefore for the past five years or so we have bought into an individual plan from a provider, just as one might buy into an auto-insurance plan. Did it cost money? Yes, of course. Too much, as far as our bank account is concerned, but about what most folks pay for their cable bill. Do the "benefits" provided to workers cost the workers? Yes, though its accounted for in a manner to make it seem like some gift.

For those without health insurance I do not say this is an ideal situation. In our state, there are only a few providers which have managed to form an oligopoly (and this is increasingly true elsewhere). Having looked at the plans available, I can conclude that there isn't any real competition. The plan we use has a high deductible but it, too, is better than nothing. I would urge any who lack insurance altogether to look into such a plan--paying off a high deductible is better than paying off the rest of what a hospital bill can be.

Re:Sad, but I can see doing it too (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36513998)

May I add:

8) Move to Canada. As a US citizen its much easier to get legal temporary citizenship and a job (you can apply in country) and that affords you coverage that is equivalent to what you would pay for in the US but costs the tax payer much less because there is no money grabbing third parties involved.

Re:Sad, but I can see doing it too (2)

MobyDisk (75490) | more than 3 years ago | (#36514050)

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

This is not always so.

My wife and I have been self employed for years and both pay for our own health care. I now work for a Fortune 500 company, and we still stay with our individual plans because they are cheaper. Here is the key difference: Companies provide high-end health care, while individual care has more gradations. My employer's healthcare has a $100 deductible, a low co-pay, and pays for every random doctor visit, dental appointment, or band-aid. My individual coverage has $1000 deductible but an out-of-pocket maximum. So it doesn't cover well visits, dental appointments, band-aids, and I have a $10 co-pay. But it does cover me if I get in an accident or have cancer. Isn't *that* what insurance is for?

The difference in the premiums pays for that $1000 deductible by the end of the year. Employer-sponsored health care is very expensive because they cannot vary the cost based on your age, demographics, life-style, etc. They do not require a check-up to get the insurance, and sometimes they have to cover pre-existing conditions. So the insurance companies are stuck with whoever they get, so they charge more for those plans.

Re:Sad, but I can see doing it too (1)

Thelasko (1196535) | more than 3 years ago | (#36514068)

2) Be real poor. This will usually qualify you for Medicaid--which sucks, but is also better than nothing.

I have a relative on Medicaid that received better pre-natal care than a coworker with group health insurance from a fortune 500 company. She received more frequent doctor visits, with a 3d ultrasound that private insurance won't pay for.

5) Get a job with benefits. This means a full-time job (working as a cashier at Walmart won't cut it).

Actually, Walmart cashiers do get access to group health insurance. [walmartstores.com] I have another relative that works as one. There are some criteria that have to be met though. (IIRC must work for the company longer than 6 months, and work more than 30 hours per week)

It's the people working for much smaller companies that can't get health insurance, because the company doesn't have enough employees to be considered a "group".

Re:Sad, but I can see doing it too (1)

ImaLamer (260199) | more than 3 years ago | (#36514090)

2) Be real poor. This will usually qualify you for Medicaid--which sucks, but is also better than nothing.
 

Except this doesn't apply in most states. You can't just be poor to get Medicaid - you also have to show that you are disabled or suffer from a long term illness. Specifically you have to be below the poverty level. In my state, for example, they then refer your claim to the Social Security Administration which can take up to three years to get approved. It wasn't always like this, ten years ago it wasn't, but it's now in place, essentially, to keep people off of Medicaid because state revenues are down (Medicaid is paid half by the Fed, half by the state). The basic point is this varies by state. Which to some sounds wonderful. States rights and so forth - but if you live in a state that isn't doing well or has elected those who want to roll the usage back then they have shot themselves in the foot. They don't have the scale anymore of other states and thus drive out doctors (less Medicaid receipts to take in) and drive up costs (demand on doctors drive up asking prices, and thus doctors feel less of a need to supplement their income with Medicaid patients).

Anecdotal; My buddy is in full on doctor-mode and left his practice after two years because the partner didn't want to take Medicaid patients. Being an OB he said it only makes sense to have 10-25% of your clients be from Medicaid as it pays, it's guaranteed and they collect slightly less. The partner was just old fashioned and against the Medicaid program. He left because looking at their cash flow he realized they'd be broke in 5 years.

3) Be a child. There are usually programs for providing healthcare for kids.

I'm not sure anymore, but I do believe this isn't in all states either. It's sort-of like Medicaid and states could refuse to implement the SCHIP/CHIP (children's health insurance) programs if they wanted to and get a payout later from the Fed... George W. Bush in Texas was a great example. The pro-life man, who found Jesus, oversaw a record number of executions but didn't implement a SCHIP plan in their state.

Sad state of (1, Insightful)

TheRecklessWanderer (929556) | more than 3 years ago | (#36513340)

It's a sad state of affairs that people have to resort to such drastic measures to get something that should be a right.

Re:Sad state of (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36513516)

It's important to realize that there are significant resources involved in providing the full range of sophisticated modern medical services to everyone in society. A social good, certainly, but no more so than other necessities such as adequate food and clean water which remain out of reach to many in this world. So I'd rather talk about it in terms of extending these necessities to those in need, or the duty of a decent nation -- rather than in terms of "rights" and (by extension) oppression. The oppressor here is Nature, not so much the health care system or the government.

Re:Sad state of (0)

Rogerborg (306625) | more than 3 years ago | (#36513608)

A "right"? Hey, pay this doctor's bill for me, would ya? Shut ya bitching - it's mah right.

Re:Sad state of (0)

CreepingDeath_3e (1631323) | more than 3 years ago | (#36513746)

No way should it ever be a right. I don't want to pay the medical bills of a smoker. I don't smoke, why should I have to cover their lung cancer? I don't want to pay the medical bills of someone who is too lazy to eat right and exercise. Do you? I don't want to pay for someone else's plastic surgery either.* Get rid of this rights crap. Driving is a privilige not a right. The internet is not a right. Medical care is not a right. Fix the system so it is not so expensive (more high quality doctors, open pricing, let them compete with each other on pricing). There is a lot wrong with it, making it a right is the worst thing you can do. * plastic surgery starts out as a cosmetic thing only, but then it shifts to a touchy feely thing. "It helps so and so fit in better, they feel better, therefore it is no longer cosmetic but some mental/emotional thing". blah

Re:Sad state of (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36513920)

As long as we force people to live, whether by outlawing suicide or abortion, then keeping them alive and healthy is a right.

AND it also means that smoking, drinking, drugs, junk food should be taxed obscenely high (but all of it should be legal) to pay for a national health care system.

Smoke, drink, do drugs, and eat all the McDonald's and Krispy Kreme you want, but you'll be paying for all of our healthcare.

Re:Sad state of (5, Insightful)

sqrt(2) (786011) | more than 3 years ago | (#36513962)

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.

Hey, might make sense (0)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 3 years ago | (#36513346)

If you're homeless and have a serious ailment, it might be a sensible thing to do.

Re:Hey, might make sense (1)

Sir_Sri (199544) | more than 3 years ago | (#36513648)

If you're homeless you should qualify for medicaid, I don't live there, but I know a couple of people in the US on medicaid, and I know they're on medicaid because it has kept them alive and in good care.

Re:Hey, might make sense (1)

turtledawn (149719) | more than 3 years ago | (#36513760)

One typically has to provide proof of residency for aid programs, which is difficult when you haven't got a residence.

Re:Hey, might make sense (1)

Ephemeriis (315124) | more than 3 years ago | (#36513912)

If you're homeless and have a serious ailment, it might be a sensible thing to do.

If you're homeless, you probably qualify for Medicaid.

It's the folks who actually earn an income that're screwed-over here in the US. Earn too much money, you don't qualify for Medicaid. But that cutoff is low enough that it includes all sorts of jobs that don't come with medical benefits, and don't pay enough for you to purchase your own health insurance. Which means you're screwed if you get hurt/sick.

Yeap (5, Insightful)

ciderbrew (1860166) | more than 3 years ago | (#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.

Sad (1)

RazzleFrog (537054) | more than 3 years ago | (#36513364)

It's a really sad story and statement about healthcare but I really don't see how this is Slashdot material in any way. The concept of committing a crime so that you can get some free meals, bed, etc. is incredibly old.

Re:Sad (1)

jdkramar (803337) | more than 3 years ago | (#36513518)

but I really don't see how this is Slashdot material in any way.

Its under idle, anything goes in idle land.

Too bad he couldn't wait... (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36513370)

If this guy could have waited for ObamaCare to fully take effect (around 2014) he wouldn't have had to rob a bank.

Of course since this is America, and the insurance companies ran the show until Obama brought some justice to the system he would have been dead by then.

All those "pro-life" Republicans who can't wait to force women to give birth would have no problem watching this guy die to save a few dollars. They probably think he's a freeloader.

Re:Too bad he couldn't wait... (1)

MozeeToby (1163751) | more than 3 years ago | (#36513630)

Insurance companies got exactly what they wanted out of Obamacare. As long as every insurance company has to follow the same rules, all they need to do is increase premiums and pass on the extra costs to their customers. Forcing every American to get insurance and no public option? And you think the insurance companies are against that?

Re:Too bad he couldn't wait... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36513668)

"Conservatives want live babies so they can raise them to be dead soldiers." - George Carlin

Why bother? (1)

Kid Zero (4866) | more than 3 years ago | (#36513376)

The DA should drop the charges. :D

Re:Why bother? (2)

Thiez (1281866) | more than 3 years ago | (#36513438)

Wouldn't that just force him to commit increasingly serious crimes to get the health care he needs?

Re:Why bother? (1)

demonlapin (527802) | more than 3 years ago | (#36513618)

More serious crimes get you sent to gang-rape prisons, not county lockup.

Re:Why bother? (5, Insightful)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#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.

Re:Why bother? (1)

Jibekn (1975348) | more than 3 years ago | (#36513928)

if hes facing death due to the illness, getting raped in order to live is something to think about..

Oh, Gastonia... (-1, Troll)

SpongeBob Hitler (1848328) | more than 3 years ago | (#36513384)

What a vile shithole full of vile people this is. They murder or disown their own children if they don't follow their fundie Evangelical bullshit. So many girls (and even boys) are raped by family members before they are even 13.

You know how people make fun of the South for being full of stupid rednecks? Well, those rednecks make fun of Gastonia for being a backward, redneck shithole.

If someone nuked Gastonia, they would deserve a fucking medal!

[Insert Obamacare joke here] (1, Flamebait)

broginator (1955750) | more than 3 years ago | (#36513392)

I'm too lazy and apathetic to come up with one...

Sounds like The Onion (4, Insightful)

Relyx (52619) | more than 3 years ago | (#36513394)

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

Makes one think... (1)

Pollux (102520) | more than 3 years ago | (#36513410)

Option 1: Pay $260 / month for a $1,000 deductible plan, and hope that I don't have to spend the $1,000 before health insurance kicks in the rest.

Option 2: Rob a bank. Get free health care!

Except, I wouldn't ask for $1 like this guy. The teller would probably just laugh and tell me to get lost. I'd demand $50,000. That way, if I manage to evade the police, at least I can afford health care for one year before I would need to rob the bank again!

Re:Makes one think... (1)

leuk_he (194174) | more than 3 years ago | (#36513838)

Seriously... 50.000 dollar won't get you very far.

According tho http://www.doughroller.net/personal-finance/what-a-9-day-hospital-stay-taught-me-about-health-insurance/ [doughroller.net] >This story 9 days cost 30.000 dollar..

Besides that, if you are going to lgo underground and be a bad boy, make sure you at least make enough money to retire immediately. Why go for 50.000 ? It is not that the ink of the pen is so expensive you cannot not ask for 5 million.

The system always wins (1)

nedlohs (1335013) | more than 3 years ago | (#36513412)

With a growth in his chest, two ruptured disks and no job, Verone hoped a three-year stint in prison would afford him the health care he needed ...

But the charge of larceny, not armed robbery, is unlikely to keep Verone behind bars for more than 12 months

You can't win. Even the simplest of plans the powers that be manage to screw you over on.

Re:The system always wins (1)

CatsupBoy (825578) | more than 3 years ago | (#36513586)

With a growth in his chest, two ruptured disks and no job, Verone hoped a three-year stint in prison would afford him the health care he needed ...

But the charge of larceny, not armed robbery, is unlikely to keep Verone behind bars for more than 12 months

You can't win. Even the simplest of plans the powers that be manage to screw you over on.

Yes but this guy cant afford a lawyer so a 3 year sentence could still be a possibility!

Re:The system always wins (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36513620)

Verone, after being released, shot a man in the legs while robbing him a pack of candies, in hope to get his three years of "healthcare", hell if he have no cure maybe he can aim to death penalty with some serial murders (mind you, Eutanasy isn't still a right) ... DA is just stepping it up for everyone, just give the man the health care he need and deal with the precedent... you'll have to...in a way or another.

Dollar Menu? (2)

jdkramar (803337) | more than 3 years ago | (#36513486)

Did the police return the $1 to the bank? Or did one of them pocket the dollar for his snack later that day? Better yet, do you think the bank is going to file an insurance claim? After all, they lost some unknown amount of business during the robbery, the insurance should cover that vague amount.

Re:Dollar Menu? (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#36513848)

If it's only a dollar, I've got a feeling that it probably just ended up in the evidence locker.

meanwhile in non-bizarroland: (1)

Thud457 (234763) | more than 3 years ago | (#36513508)

If there were any justice in the world, this guy would go in to rob the bank trying to get caught and end up getting away with $75,000.

O' Henry short story (2)

140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) | more than 3 years ago | (#36513578)

I think there was this short story by O' Henry, written around 1900 about someone breaking shop windows to go to jail for the winter every year. The Cop and the Anthem. http://www.classicreader.com/book/1757/1/ [classicreader.com]

DUH (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36513580)

What an idiot... You can get treatment at any hospital.. with or without insurance...

This guy is right where he belongs.

Re:DUH (4, Informative)

rjstanford (69735) | more than 3 years ago | (#36513674)

You can get immediate treatment at any hospital ER. You can not get ongoing, expensive, "voluntary" treatment without insurance.

Re:DUH (1)

turtledawn (149719) | more than 3 years ago | (#36513828)

Treatment for acute illness or injury, perhaps. But this guy has tumors - they're not just going to wheel you into surgery and the chemo ward on an emergency-admit basis.

Very sad (1)

DaMattster (977781) | more than 3 years ago | (#36513584)

It is sad that basic human greed has put this man in this kind of situation. According to the article, he has a growth in his chest and two ruptured disks. In some ways, this was an innovative thing to do but it is a shame that wanting to live cost him his freedom. I had often thought of doing the same thing if forced into that kind of situation. The only mistake this man made was not taking enough money (he only stole $1) to keep him in prison long enough for treatment. The judge may not even sentence him to prison because the crime was non-violent - a threatening note was needed to make the whole thing legitimate. In fact, the man sat on a bench waiting for police to take him away. If allowed under law, the judge could probably give him probation because this was a crime of desperation, not calculated to steal a significant amount of money nor hurt anyone but to get this man the care he so desperately needs. This crime is so markedly similar to the homeless man that steals to feed himself. If RBC had any last shred of humanity left, it would ask for the charges to be dropped and get that man assistance. It would restore my faith in humanity. However, even if RBC did as I suggested, it certainly would not be out of altruism but the public image value. Banks are scrambling to gain an undeserved positive public image.

Re:Very sad (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36513820)

Banks deserve no respect. u r right

Re:Very sad (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36513982)

it is a shame that wanting to live cost him his freedom

If it makes you feel better, I'm not sure he really has much freedom left in his life at this point...when you're just going through the motions to survive...is that really a life?

"a female teller" (0)

rjstanford (69735) | more than 3 years ago | (#36513642)

So? Other than trying to imply something, what exactly does this add to the story?

Or to put it another way, how would you feel if it had read "a black teller," or "a wheelchair-bound teller," or, for that matter, "a male teller."

The implication is that either tellers are rarely female (untrue), or that female tellers were somehow targeted by the robber, or that her ability to handle the situation was notable because, well, she was female... If replacing "female" with "male" results in a ridiculous sentence, it was probably ridiculous to begin with.

Word choice can be insidious, somehow.

Re:"a female teller" (1)

MurukeshM (1901690) | more than 3 years ago | (#36514052)

Simply the fact that the teller in question was (and probably still is) a female. But then again, does the fact that the robber in question is a man add anything to the story? What if it had been a man? He has already been caught, his name is given, so why state "a 59-year-old man..."? Why not just "a 59-year-old human being"?

I work for Heath Insurance (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36513800)

I work for Heath Insurance.
It is worst type of bureaucracy you would ever see in your life. No Surprise.

Recently my company canceled "child only" policy. Soon, they are moving toward doing same thing for Self Employed.

Contact RBC (1)

DaMattster (977781) | more than 3 years ago | (#36513852)

Everyone please contact RBC and recommend that charges be dropped and suggest that RBC has an unprecedented opportunity to help this man and gain favorable public relations time. Does this man really deserve prison? If you really think so, I suggest you are heartless. Go to http://www.rbcbankusa.com/communityinvolvement/cid-96942.html [rbcbankusa.com] and click on the email link at the bottom.

Re:Contact RBC (1, Funny)

nedlohs (1335013) | more than 3 years ago | (#36513926)

You are a selfish prick.

A man wants to go prison and you work to deny him that simple thing?

Fuck you!

Alternate Ending (1)

RivenAleem (1590553) | more than 3 years ago | (#36513876)

A 59-year-old man has been shot dead in Gastonia, N.C., during a failed robbery of RBC Bank for $1 so he could get health care in prison.

fake (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36513988)

This story is BS a troll to get all you socialist slassholes in a tizzy. I know people who are on Healthy NY who DO NOTHING that have better hleath care and NY is going broke!

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