Last June, James Verone, an unemployed 59-year-old North Carolina man, robbed a bank for a single dollar in an attempt to go to prison and receive free healthcare, the New York Times reports. Verone suffered from an undiagnosed growth on his chest and a sore foot. He hobbled into a bank and simply handed the teller a note explaining that he was unarmed, robbing the bank and suggested she call the cops.
In 2009, West Orlando News reported that the Florida prison system saw an increase in blue-collar workers with no criminal record committing crimes to gain access to healthcare.
The Affordable Care Act may put an end to this desperation. Under the Obama’s healthcare policy, the asset test that prevents patients like Morrocco from gaining coverage will be eliminated. The health care law also provides tax credits to help people buy private health insurance if their incomes are between the federal poverty level, which is $11,170 this year, and four times that amount.
Health care is generally cheaper then incarceration costs. Plus now the state pays both. It is the messed up system of disability and medicaid that forced him to take these dramatic steps. Even the cutoff of not having more than $2,500 in assets is ridiculousness. Assets can be a persons safety net that could be used up quickly in an emergency situation.