Monday, December 23, 2013

2135 Sales Executive

I read an article recently that talked about the President's new actions regarding the Affordable Care Act, the ACA, aka Obamacare. The headline said: "Obama to make economic case for health care, pitch to young people."

It cast my mind back to 1980, when in fact I was pitching health insurance to young people. And usually being rejected soundly. Few people are reviled as much as insurance salesmen. 

Back in those days I sold life and health insurance, and if there are two things that are exceptionally hard to sell to young people and really, people generally, it's health insurance and life insurance. 

Partly because no one wants to believe they are going to get sick or die. Or if they do believe they're going to die, they could care less about what happens to their survivors. I actually heard the phrase, "Screw 'em, I'm dead" more than once.

As far as health insurance, people clung tenaciously to the idea that "it won't happen to me," until of course it did, then they wanted as much insurance as they could get. I think one of the often overlooked but possibly biggest resistances to a national health plan is that same "it won't happen to me" feeling magnified 300-millionfold. 

Folks don't want to pay for something that they may not but someone else definitely will use. Until of course they personally need it. I think that same impulse leads people to live next to flood prone rivers. The definition of humanity is a remarkable capacity to deny the obvious. 

But what struck me most about the headline was that Obama now finds himself in a strange role. One guaranteed to lower his approval ratings even lower. He's the Insurance Salesman-in-chief. 

America, ya gotta love it. 

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