I declined

30 August, 2016 | Index

Dear Hillary Clinton,

Gerard Mclean here, from Englewood, Ohio, just north of Dayton. There were 100 days from your nomination to election, so I’m writing you 100 letters. This is the thirty-third letter. The others can be found in your USPS mailbox or online at 100HRC.com

I couldn’t sleep last night because my hip and leg hurt too much. I took some Advil and the pain dulled enough for me to think through this letter. Please forgive me if it goes off the tracks a bit.

In April-June, 2014 I underwent thirty radiation treatments to blast some osteosclerotic plasmacytoma from my hip. I maxed out my OOP, as you might expect. In 2015 when the meter reset and Anthem BC/BS of Ohio had increased my premiums by a bit more than 23% (29% in 2016, you can see the trajectory of this) my radiologist, neurologist and hematologist all requested I submit to several tests to see how the treatment went. The MRIs, bone scans and blood work would have maxed out my OOP for the year. No actual treatment; just testing.

I declined. To continue to spend that much money on an old worn-out body attached to a mind this country no longer sees or wants seems a bit pointless and selfish. I’ve since made peace with the fact that should I develop cancer, it is what I will die from.* I will, however, max out my OOP on pain meds, if you can forgive that bit of selfishness and cowardice.

I am your typical rags-to-middle class American Dream success story. My story is all over the internet, if you Google me. I think you should know my narrative is also behind the glowing stories you tell of the ACA and no less true.

The ACA guaranteed I will have health insurance, that I do not dispute. But it also guaranteed I will be held hostage by the medical industry and it has become a “death panel” of a different name. That name is “despair.”

We need UniversalCare, SinglePayer, MedicareForAll.


Gerard McLean
cc: Sen. Sherrod Brown


*Unless some corporation wants to offer me a job that pays a decent salary and full medical benefits. But come to Dayton, Ohio and I’ll show you why that isn’t likely going to happen. If I had any hope of a job with benefits happening, I sure as heck would not be telling you all this stuff on the open internet where anyone can read it. Sure, there could be someone out there who thinks maybe I have something to add to their company, but hundreds of applications, hustles and gigs and a pile of rejection letters, emails later, I’m likely thinking not. So, in your opponent’s words; “What do I have to lose?”

Medium Readers: Please don’t offer me advice or comment on this letter. I will not engage either way. It stands as what I meant to say in full. What works for you coping with insane, preventable injustice works for you. This is what I’ve discovered works for me. I’m publishing these letters because I said I would, not that I need anyone to “solve” anything. Please respect that. Thanks!