Even with a decent paying engineering job, I struggle to keep up with the premium payments on a “cadillac” plan that our family needs so that the medical issues they have will be covered.
Every year those premium costs increase, and we face either cutting down to a cheaper plan and facing significantly higher out-of-pocket costs.
Then, there are people that are self-employed or simply can’t afford health insurance at all. Hospitals charge hundreds of dollars for the most basic of medical services, thousands for more involved services, and tens to hundreds of thousands for anything that requires specialty doctors or surgeons.
The bottom line is that today’s health care is out of reach for most middle or low-income Americans. The very poor may qualify for public programs that are fast going bankrupt, and eventually only the extremely wealthy will be able to afford American health care.
Keep in mind, we’re talking about human health – not cars, jewelry or other luxury items. We’re talking about medicines, devices and surgeries that keep people – mothers, fathers and children – alive.
How can any nation’s leaders sleep at night knowing that millions of its citizens lose sleep at night worrying whether the next medical crisis will drive the family into bankruptcy? Do any of our “leaders” even really care?
We’ve heard promises, and we’ve heard about impending changes – but how many people have seen anything change for the better?
Man Robs a Bank For One Dollar – To Get Free Health Care
When I first read about James Verone in early June, I shook my head in disgust. Not because of the fact that he walked into a North Carolina bank and demanded money from the teller, but because he was forced to do so by the current way health care is “managed” in this country.
James Verone, aged 59, was just laid off from his job after working there for 17 years. He had developed a growth on his chest, suffered from two ruptured disks in his back, and was experiencing issues with his left foot.
He didn’t immediately jump to the easiest solution. First he drained his entire life savings trying to pay for the unaffordable health care offered in this country. After his own funds had run out, but medical issues persisted, James went out to find where in this country one can “qualify” for health care coverage without a job.
Obviously, getting hired at age 59 was out. He did not qualify for most public welfare programs. And then he realized the answer – prisons take care of its resident’s medical needs on the public dime.
There were no forms to fill out, no screening of people with “pre-existing medical conditions”, and no unaffordable premiums. The only requirement is that you had to commit a crime severe enough to end up in prison. Yes, James realized, bank robbery would qualify him for the health care he could not otherwise afford.
James Verone, an otherwise law-abiding American, walked into RBC bank and robbed it for a dollar. Then, he calmly sat down in the lobby and waited for the police to give him a ride to jail.
Pharmacy Shootings in Long Island
Not long after the Verone incident, America learned that a tragic pharmacy shooting took place in Long Island, New York.
When I first heard the story, my first thought was oxycontin addiction….yet another epidemic created by the greedy, addiction-creating pharmaceutical industry.
However, as more details about the story came out – that it involved a former soldier, and that his wife was sick – the bigger picture came into focus. Here is yet another symptom of a broken health care system.
There is no excuse for murder – and four innocent people died at the Long Island pharmacy that tragic Sunday.
However, soldiers are trained to deal with a crisis with a gun, and David Laffer – probably not the most intelligent guy on the planet – solved his wife’s medical crisis the only way he knew how, with a gun.
District Attorney John Collins called it “the most cold-blooded robbery-homicide in Suffolk County History” – and it was. However, I will guarantee that America will see more of the same unless the lives and the health of its citizens is respected, regardless of income or employment status.
David Laffer’s wife, Melinda, was a victim of the pharmaceutical industry. After tooth surgery and stomach problems, doctor’s prescribed her one of the highly addictive painkillers that the drug industry and the FDA approve for treating the pain of Americans.
Friends and family told news reporters that the couple were never in trouble – they were good people. Melinda’s schoolmate Peter Regan told reporters:
“I don’t think she was ever in a lick of trouble. She was a sweetheart. She was eager to be friends with people. If you were to talk to her, she would keep it going.”
Pharmaceutical Addictions Transform Citizens into Killers
Friends had the same to say about Laffer as well, painting a picture of two innocent American citizens swept up in a whirlwind of pharmaceutical addiction, fostered by prescription painkillers.
In 2008, Melinda posted on a weddings forum that she was forced to take the pain medicine, because there were no other options. She wrote, “I only take it if I really have to. I really hate taking them.”
Then tragedy struck the couple. Laffer lost his job, and the couple – now without health insurance – could not afford the medicine. However, both of them had become dependent on the drugs. According to police, both were “under the influence of narcotics” when arrested.
According to Melinda, the act was an act of desperation on the part of Laffer. She told reporters, “He was doing it because he lost his job and I was sick.”
Four innocent pharmacy workers and customers were murdered – Jennifer Mejia, 17, Raymond Ferguson, 45, Jamie Taccetta, 33, and Bryon Sheffield, 71.
Neighbors were left with more questions than answers, as the quiet and kind couple they had known for years were displayed on television and on the Internet as murderers.
Medford residents are left wondering what went wrong in their community.
So long as U.S. leaders continue to stall any significant reforms, American citizens are left simply waiting for more of these terrible events to occur.
These are not symptoms of increasing crime in America, they are symptoms of a health care crisis of a proportion that may very well either serve as a catalyst for revolution, or for societal collapse and the complete failure of the U.S. economy.Originally published on TopSecretWriters.com