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Here is the new ultimatum people are putting to themselves: is it better to be in prison on a felony charge with some health care, or dead? Or put another way, “America 2011: crime or death.” 59-year-old delivery driver James Varone was not able to obtain medical treatment for a chest protrusion after losing his latest job, so he robbed a bank for one dollar in order to be arrested and sent to prison, where he can see a doctor for free. We give it one week until we are reading another story like this:

[Varone] has a lot to say on the subject of socialized medical care. He suspects he wouldn’t be talking to a reporter through a metal screen wearing an orange jumpsuit if such an option were available in the U.S.

“If you don’t have your health you don’t have anything,” said Verone.

The man has high hopes with his recent incarceration.

He has seen several nurses and has an appointment with a doctor Friday.

The ideal scenario would include back and foot surgery and a diagnosis and treatment of the protrusion on his chest, he said. He would serve a few years in prison and get out in time to collect Social Security and move to the beach.

[Gaston Gazette via ThinkProgress]

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