As we approach the 4th of July weekend, I think it's tie to look at what makes America so great....
But then I remembered that I'm such a downer and America has turned to a joke of its former self.. even including all the racial civil injustice we carried out. So I guess we'll just go back to highlighting what it means to be an American.
For example - Health Care. What a great country we live in when you realize that It's fucking easier to get Health care in jail...
Some people who need medical care but can't afford it go to the emergency room. Others just hope they'll get better. James Richard Verone robbed a bank.
Earlier this month, Verone (pictured), a 59-year-old convenience store clerk, walked into a Gaston, N.C., bank and handed the cashier a note demanding $1 and medical attention. Then he waited calmly for police to show up.
He's now in jail and has an appointment with a doctor this week.
Verone's problems started when he lost the job he'd held for 17 years as a Coca Cola deliveryman, amid the economic downturn. He found new work driving a truck, but it didn't last. Eventually, he took a part-time position at the convenience store.
But Verone's body wasn't up to it. The bending and lifting made his back ache. He had problems with his left foot, making him limp. He also suffered from carpal tunnel syndrome and arthritis.
Then he noticed a protrusion on his chest. "The pain was beyond the tolerance that I could accept," Verone told the Gaston Gazette. "I kind of hit a brick wall with everything."
Verone knew he needed help--and he didn't want to be a burden on his sister and brothers. He applied for food stamps, but they weren't enough either.
So he hatched a plan. On June 9, he woke up, showered, ironed his shirt. He mailed a letter to the Gazette, listing the return address as the Gaston County Jail.
"When you receive this a bank robbery will have been committed by me," 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."
Then Verone hailed a cab to take him to the RBC Bank. Inside, he handed the teller his $1 robbery demand.
"I didn't have any fears," said Verone. "I told the teller that I would sit over here and wait for police."
The teller was so frightened that she had to be taken to the hospital to be checked out. Verone, meanwhile, was taken to jail, just as he'd planned it.
Because he only asked for $1, Verone was charged with larceny, not bank robbery. But he said that if his punishment isn't severe enough, he plans to tell the judge that he'll do it again. His $100,000 bond has been reduced to $2,000, but he says he doesn't plan to pay it.
In jail, Verone said he skips dinner to avoid too much contact with the other inmates. He's already seen some nurses and is scheduled to see a doctor on Friday. He said he's hoping to receive back and foot surgery, and get the protrusion on his chest treated. Then he plans to spend a few years in jail, before getting out in time to collect Social Security and move to the beach.
Verone also presented the view that if the United States had a health-care system which offered people more government support, he wouldn't have had to make the choice he did.
"If you don't have your health you don't have anything," Verone said.
The Affordable Care Act, President Obama's health-care overhaul passed by Congress last year, was designed to make it easier for Americans in situations like Verone's to get health insurance. But most of its provisions don't go into effect until 2014.
As it is, Verone said he thinks he chose the best of a bunch of bad options. "I picked jail."
The short of it is that this guy's more likely to get health care taken away from prisoners than given to the general public. And really, the joke's on him. Most prisoners don't get any sort of health care.
Wait, did he not know?
That photo right there is also a perfect representation of the sort of existential despair most of us feel every day. We wake up and make that face at the realization that it is literally easier and more affordable to go to jail to receive medical treatment in this country.
You want to scare away illegals from possibly coming to this land of milk and honey? Just put up a sign describing the hurtles you need to go through in order to get medical treatment. Then you should also write in how much the average prescription cost is. Yeah, you don't need to do anything more to convey the message of "Don't come to America"
So how safe is all this? Well, in jail Verone said he skips dinner to avoid too much contact with the other inmates, who are also victims of similar economic circumstances... as well as black. So it's pretty clear that prison isn't fun.
In fact, I read one report that showed that prisoners actively shove various objects up their ass or down their throat just to get the fuck out of those hell holes of a jail. So... perhaps this move for free health care comes at a cost. You know, the cost of potentially getting Hepatitis C.
It's sort of ironic that in this guy's attempt to get some medical treatment in a system that doesn't provide any to the people, he may very well have caused someone else to become a slave of the system.
The bank teller was said to be so frightened that she had to be taken to the hospital to be check out. If you were ever wondering how you can get health insurance in America, perhaps you should kill a banker and then you can get free health care for life.
In fact, that should go without saying. You should probably be killing bankers anyway. I'm a bit confused on all this. Why is this man being charged with any sort of crime? Maybe we should stop treating bank robbers as a criminal problem and start treating it as a public health problem.
But in a method not to leave the blood of those banker scum on your hands, there's other ways to get that free health care check up.
1. fight for the empireIf you go for #1, you should prepare yourself to defend your claims using some sort of burden of proof that is... well, no matter what you say it's going to be argued against. I mean, yeah, you can't fucking hear after firing mortars for 8 years in the desert, but hey I guess it may have occurred because you mowed lawns as a kid. Denied medical treatment.
2. student under 25. try to learn something useful like chemistry agriculture plumbing etc
3. luck out on some office job. i worked full time as a phone rep for minimum wage but at least i got to see a doctor for the first time in 4 years. until i got fired anyway
4. befriend a doctor or med student
5. go to a free health clinic. there are still some of these left. White Warning: you have to wait with poor people and minorities
If you're trying your luck with #2 or #3, pray nothing serious happens to you because it'll still probably bankrupt you to get medical treatment and you'll more than likely get inadequate care anyway.
The only reason you should ever choose #5 is if you have nothing better to do with your time and have days free to kill waiting in line and/or some waiting room. You'll be left with something called preventative care. Which sadly is still the best choice and all that is, is me telling you "Don't get sick." in a less cynical manner.
To be honest, my best form of preventative medicine is the tactic I attempted when I was in my early 20's. It's very simple to follow. You need only to drink at least one 2-Liter bottle of Pepsi a day.
This will prevent you from having to see the future.
But given the fact that I'm still alive in my 30's I guess it's safe to say that as much as you try, you will live longer than you wish you had. If only by accident, and it will be in a lot of pain that you are living in.
It makes you wonder if this will lead to the inevitable course of them not calling the police for just handing a note for a single dollar on a piece of paper in a bank and simply waiting politely so they'll have to up the ante and actually rob the place. Or maybe the banks will not call the police at all unless you have a gun visible. So then they'll have to bring a gun in. This of course will lead to the situation where the cops won't do anything unless the robber has shot it in the air once.
Slippery slope this is. But I'm sure everyone is already painfully aware of the fact that the odds of this story doing anything more than prompting conservatives to reduce medical care available to inmates is a big fat zero. Hell, the odds that this story will do anything other than prompt "liberals" to join conservatives in reducing medical care offered to inmates is also zero.
We all know this is where it will lead to. Not providing medical care to prisoners. It's already bad enough that there's this perception that prison is just an extended vacation where you can get totally fit, watch TV, get 3 hots and a cot and now you toss in medical care? Sounds pretty snazzy to me. We should all be lucky to go to jail, shouldn't we?
Never you mind that it's far from the truth. In fact, in California, if you have expensive health problems, they'll parole you and if you get better you go back into prison. Makes a strong case to never getting better. Then again, they may also just let you die there. That's even cheaper on the system.
So now what's next? What exactly could I tell you that isn't a complete bummer about this nation we are in? Well, nothing. Perhaps you should get started in planning your escape. Here's a helpful last resort reference guide.
List of Countries with Universal Healthcare
List of non-extradition Countries
Maybe he should have focused less on that dollar and just shot for enough money for a ticket to Slovenia.