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Desperate Times: Man Robs Bank to Get Healthcare in Jail

James Verone robbed a bank this month, but he didn't want any money. All he wanted was a doctor.


James Richard Verone delivered Coke products in North Carolina for 17 years before he was laid off in 2008. After that he was able to find work as a truck driver but was soon dropped from that job, too. When Verone was unable to find other employment that wasn't punishing on his 59-year-old body, things went from bad to worse. His health began deteriorating rapidly, and he found a "protrusion" coming out of his chest. That's when he'd had enough.

Two weeks ago Verone walked into a bank and robbed the place of $1. He then sat down and waited for the police to come. After applying for early Social Security and being denied, and struggling to stay healthy with no insurance, Verone decided that going to jail was the only way he could get the help he needed. "The pain was beyond the tolerance that I could accept," he told his local newspaper.

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Let's All Ask The New York Times Why Its Healthcare Reform Coverage Is So Lopsided

We've got a project for you: Let's demand some accountability from our newsmakers.


Early Thursday I told you that nearly 50 percent of Americans either believe Obama's Affordable Care Act has been repealed or don't know enough to say whether it's still a law. If that stat seems like a condemnation of American civics knowledge, it is—but only partially.

For the rest of the story, or, perhaps, for an explanation about why many Americans are so ignorant, consider the above graph. Ezra Klein made it with data from the Washington Monthly, and it shows the disparity between media coverage of court rulings that have ruled healthcare reform unconstitutional and rulings that have found the law completely legal.

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About a Quarter of Americans Actually Believe Healthcare Reform Has Been Repealed

A shocking number of Americans either think healthcare reform is dead or don't know enough to say if it's still around.


Though repealing President Obama's healthcare law, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, has long been a hallmark goal of Congressional Republicans, and though it's being contested in courts throughout the nation, the law itself still stands strong. But you'd never know that from talking to nearly half of Americans.

According to a new poll from the Kaiser Family Foundation, 22 percent of people believe the healthcare law, the biggest feather in Obama's cap thus far, has been repealed, while another 26 percent say they don't know enough to say whether it's still a law.

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