, Volume 26, Issue 9, p 947
Date: 23 Jul 2011

From the Editors’ Desk: Valuing Health and Primary Care

This is an excerpt from the content

In June 2011, James Verone walked into a bank in North Carolina and attempted to rob it for a single dollar. Three years previously, he had been laid off from his 17-year job as a Coca-Cola deliveryman and, unable to find permanent alternative employment, had depleted his life savings. Unlike most bank robbers in this predicament, his goal was not pecuniary, though he certainly could use more money. Instead, his objective was to be apprehended and eventually imprisoned for robbery in order to obtain free health care from within the prison system. Unarmed, he was taken into custody. Sadly, Mr. Verone felt that the prison health care system was his best option for having access to medical care for his chronic medical conditions.

Mr. Verone’s actions, while extreme, highlight the continuing problem of access to health care faced by over 50 million people in the US. The 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act health reform bill is poised to decrease that number dramatically, by incr ...