I work in sales.  One of the fundamental things that sales agents are taught is to avoid political and controversial topics when talking with potential clients.  You don’t want to lose a sale because you said the wrong thing about the wrong issue to the wrong person.  As libertarians and anarchists we perpetually walk a fine line of getting people to question their pre-conceived notions while at the same time not turning people completely off by dropping the “A” word without its proper context.

Through a series of events I found myself last fall at the crossroads of being an anarchist and a certified insurance agent (CIA?) for California’s state run Obamacare exchange, Covered CA.  In the spring of 2013, I was coming home from my previous job, in the morning, after a 12 hour overnight shift working in a casino.  The commute home was even more congested than the usual Los Angeles morning rush hour traffic.  I was on a motorcycle so I was moving faster than the other vehicles but I was still slowed by the traffic jam.  When I was only a couple minutes from home I crashed into a truck that had stopped unexpectedly in front of me.  On impact I remember thinking two things: one, that my arm just broke and two, that this is going to ruin my morning.  I lost consciousness and awoke on the pavement not remembering the crash.  I had temporary amnesia.  The paramedics were talking to me and telling me that my arm had bones hanging out of it.  I was wearing a cross around my neck which was removed and given to my family for safe keeping.  The paramedics then asked me if I had insurance.  I said yes.  They asked, “What company?”  I gave them the name of my car insurance company.  I then realized my mistake and gave them the name of my motorcycle insurance company.  Then I asked if they meant health insurance.  I gave them the name if my health insurance company as well.  They then told me that they are taking me to Huntington.  I said, “Trauma center”.  They said, “That’s right.”  Huntington is not the nearest hospital but it is the only one in the vicinity that has a trauma center.

Ten days and four surgeries later, I left Huntington hospital but my recovery was far from over.  In the hospital I could tell something had changed in me.  The cross was being held for me but I knew I would never wear it again.  Not only was I no longer a Christian but I didn’t think I was a conservative anymore either.  While lying in the trauma center I was told by my doctors that they may have to fuse my shattered elbow or, worst case scenario, amputate my arm.  But my elbow wasn’t fused and I still have both arms thanks in part to a seven hour surgery I underwent where my shattered bones were painstakingly put back together like a jigsaw puzzle with half the pieces missing.

While recovering at home I passed the time by filling out countless forms most of which were required by government regulations.  But I had a lot more free time than I did before when I was working 12 hours a day, four days a week, with my weekends spent just getting ready for the next week’s work.  I had been stuck in the rat race and didn’t really have time to ponder the evils of the state.  But with more time on my hands I started looking into Bitcoin.  I had heard of Bitcoin before the (motorcycle) crash but I was dismissive of it.  While researching Bitcoin I also starting looking more into libertarianism and Austrian economics.  Six months and two additional surgeries later, I was ready to return to work.  By this point I had bought some bitcoin and considered myself an anarcho-capitalist.  But I didn’t want to return to the casino.  My experience with the accident and recovery would make me the perfect person to instill in people how important it is to have insurance.  Who knows if the paramedics would have taken me to a world class trauma center if I told them I didn’t have insurance?  Even if they would have taken me there anyway, how can I be sure the surgeon who put my arm back together wouldn’t have passed me off to a Medicaid surgeon who would have been happy to only spend a couple hours fusing my elbow or amputating my arm instead of seven hours fixing me?

I got certified to sell Obamacare and went to work at an insurance office where most of the agents and all the management are gung-ho about Obamacare.  I thought Obamacare was awful and I was relieved that most of my recovery was done before Obamacare kicked in.  That didn’t change the fact that I still thought it was important for everyone to have insurance.  When talking with clients I ran into a few conservative Obamacare skeptics.  I could easily relate to their mindset and I told them that regardless of what you think about Obamacare you are much better off with coverage than without.  I also ran into Obama fans who were excited about buying Obamacare.  I didn’t really have to do much selling to these clients until I told them what the premiums were.  The most challenging clients I ran into were those who didn’t like Obamacare because they thought it didn’t go far enough.  I remember talking to a middle aged couple where the husband said that healthcare should be free.  I was unsure of how to respond but luckily for me their 18 year old son quickly said, “Yeah right, how can it be free?  Someone has to pay the doctor.”  I was then able to just say that they have a brilliant son.

I work with people who are devout Christians and ardent statists.  I am not afraid of letting them know how I feel and challenging their beliefs but I do so in a way that is positive.  I say libertarian instead of anarchist.  I say that I believe in insurance when asked if I believe in Obamacare.  I politely decline the invitation to the Christian rock concert and instead talk about the hilarious musical I just saw called Book of Mormon.  Live your values and promote liberty everywhere you can.