All of us are affected by the passage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) whether we realize it or not.  At a recent family wedding, ACA was the topic of discussion at our table.  At our table of 10 cousins, we learned that we are all touched by this law in uniquely different ways.  When my 29 year old, extreme snow boarding, uninsured cousin, said, “I don’t need insurance, I’ll pay the penalty”, my brother responded, “For me, I can sleep better knowing if I am laid off, [daughter] who lives with Type I Diabetes will be covered and she will not have to worry  about any life time coverage limit. Several of us commented on the number of fundraisers we have all attended to support our friends with mounting medical bills. No more worries about foreclosures or bankruptcies due to these medical bills.  My younger cousin was accepted into a nurse practitioner program as a result of ACA. She is excited about the potential of ACA and enlightened some naysayers by affirming, “It’s not called Obamacare, it’s the Affordable Care Act- an act of law passed by Congress.”  My uncle who is on a lot of medications will not have to worry about being in the “donut hole” anymore.  My cousin, who is a single mom, was paying about $400 per month to help pay for her father’s medicine.  We took a guess about how many at the wedding were still under their parents’ health plans- a lot!  Many of my younger cousins are still in graduate school, internships, part-time work or just plain unemployed!

This week I attended an ACA workshop at The National Alliance on Ending Homelessness. Barbara DiPietro, of the National Healthcare for the Homeless Council, cited a poll showing that most people do not know about most of the provisions of the ACA. She challenged us to change the conversation.  She suggested talking about ACA at events, such as barbeques this summer.

Our family learned a lot about each other and ACA during casual, wedding conversation.  I hope my daredevil cousin will buy into a plan and no longer be counted among the 50 million uninsured. After slipping a few times on the dance floor, my guess is he will need it sooner than later.

The link to is where you can read the entire law or  just look at their timeline to see exactly which provisions have already been enacted and more….