Unhealthy Justice

Dave Killion — June 22, 2011

Have you seen this story? An unemployed North Carolina man suffering from various ailments is trying to acquire health care through novel means. His idea?¬†–

“…¬†commit a crime and get set up with a place to stay, food and doctors.”

It seems James Richard Verone, for reasons not revealed in the article, lost his job three years ago and has been unable to earn a living since. He attempted to file for disability –

“The only thing Verone qualified for was food stamps. The extra money helped, but he felt desperate. He needed to get medical attention, and he refused to be a burden on his sister and brothers.”

“He considered turning to a homeless shelter and seeking medical help through charitable organizations.

Then he had another idea…”

Despite the fact that this guy had private options available to him, this story is supposed to be some sort of indictment against the state of health care availability in the US. In fact, it is an indictment of the penal system. Although I doubt there are many who pursue imprisonment in order to get free food, shelter, clothing, and health care, surely the tax-payers provision of these necessities does nothing to encourage criminals to walk the straight-and-narrow. Surely a libertarian justice system, in which convicts would be required to earn their keep in addition to making restitution for their crimes, would provide superior incentives for right behaviour.

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