Are you able to work? HRC 78/100

14 October, 2016 | Index

Dear Hillary Clinton,

Gerard Mclean here, from Englewood, Ohio, about ten miles north of Dayton, about seventy miles west of Columbus, exit 29 on I70. This is the seventy-eighth letter of one hundred I am writing you on health care; one for each day between your nomination and your election. The previous letters can be found in your USPS mailbox or online at

I remember the last time I went shopping at Kroger before my nerves really took a turn for the worst and rendered me virtually home-bound for a couple years. It was in early October 2012. After I walked the dogs down the block and back at night, I drove to Kroger for some basics; milk, bread, coffee… I may have bought some fruit, I can’t remember.

What I do remember vividly is by the time I got to the checkout lane, my feet were hurting so badly I could barely stand. As I was paying, the cashier sensed I may have been in pain, despite my best efforts at hiding my discomfort. After assuring him I was ok, that it was just some nerve damage, he asked;

“Are you able to work?”

Fortunately, I had created a software company fifteen years prior, so I could generate income without having to physically be anywhere. But his immediate question jarred me about the reality of life in America. If you can’t work, you will not survive.

The more insidious issue is for many of us, our health care is tied to our employment status. This makes absolutely no sense! When we are not able to work because of poor health is when we most need access to health care. We need SinglePayer, MedicareForAll, UniversalCare for us all. Our ability to survive should not be dependent on our ability to work.


Gerard McLean
cc: Sen. Sherrod Brown