MSNBC Hypes Story of Man Who Robbed Bank for Prison Health Care, Leaves Out Free Health Clinics in His Backyard

On June 9, unarmed Gaston County, North Carolina man James Verone held up a bank demanding the sum of $1. After getting the cash from a teller, he patiently waited in the bank for cops to arrive.

Twelve days later, MSNBC has picked up on the story as an example of the desperate straits that unemployed, uninsured persons will go for health care.

Yet neither anchor Chris Jansing in the 10 a.m. Eastern hour nor Tamron Hall in the 2:00 p.m. hour mentioned that there are low-or-no-charge health clinics in Verone's backyard.

A little Web search yields the website for Gaston Family Health Services, Inc., a nonprofit group with seven clinics that claims to "[provide] care to more than 30,000 patients per year (1 in 11 Gaston County citizens), through more than 100,000 clinical encounters."

For example, there's the Gaston Family Health Services clinic on West Hudson Boulevard in Gastonia that promises it provides "primary care services for patients who can't afford healthcare."

Of course, Verone was also looking for free housing for three years as a way to mooch off the government until he was old enough for Social Security, reported Rad Berky of NBC affiliate WCNC this morning on the station's website:

He is hoping for a three year sentence. He would then be able to collect Social Security when he got out and said he would head for the beach.

"I've already looked at a condominium. I've spoken to a realtor on Myrtle Beach," Verone said.

Jansing omitted that fact from her report. For her part, Tamron ran a news package by Berky, who of course included Verone's dream of coasting through life on the taxpayers' dime until he's 62:

BERKY: James is hoping for a three-year sentence. He figures he'd then be able to collect Social Security when he gets out and says he'd head for the beach.

 

VERONE: I've already got a condominium. I've spoken to a realtor, [it's] on Myrtle Beach.

Verone is clearly delusional, a liar or both, and yet Hall introduced the story by suggesting it was just a logical option one might take, albeit extreme, when unemployed and without health insurance:

So just how much is health care worth to you? One desperate North Carolina man claims it is worth a stay in jail.

Ken Shepherd
Ken Shepherd
Ken Shepherd is the Managing Editor for NewsBusters