The real hustle: HRC 55/100

21 September, 2016 | Index

Dear Hillary Clinton,

Gerard Mclean here, from Englewood, Ohio, just north of Dayton. This is the fifty-fifth letter of one hundred I am writing you on health care; one for each day between your nomination and your election; double nickels as we used to say way back in the day on the CB radio. (You know I know what I’m talking, HRC16, come in.)

The previous letters can be found in your USPS mailbox or online at

I read a thought piece the other day from some young, disrupting tech-bro wannabe entrepreneur about how this election and politics in general is a distraction from people who want to do good stuff. Good people, he argued, ignore things politicians do because the “good work” transcends elections. Only weak people who are scared of doing the hard work, rage and protest. I suspect he would think writing you 100 letters about heath care is a waste of time. I should be making an app and getting VC funding instead.

I thought about this for some time and concluded none of that is true. While successful people can make a difference in a smaller circle, elected politicians and SCOTUS judges can wipe out 40+ years of hard work in one law or ruling. An example of this is the ACA, which allows the State of Ohio to approve an annual 29% increase in my Anthem BC/BS of Ohio policy with no recourse or redress. That amounts to $124,000 for no actual health care during your two upcoming terms. Not only that, but it shackles me to provide for my family, long after my adult children are past eighteen, freeing up smaller corporations (startups, too) to take a free ride on providing health care benefits to employees under twenty-seven.

Advocating for SinglePayer, MedicareForAll, UniversalCare and getting involved in politics is not a waste of time and effort. It is not whining and complaining. It is recognizing that you have a lot of power, which you could wield to make our lives miserable, tolerable or prosperous.

If you chose to make us miserable, someone needs to check that early and often. That should be someone who has fearless tenacity. That someone should probably be me.

Lucky you, right?

Gerard McLean
cc: Sen. Sherrod Brown