"I completely understand why people are frustrated right now, and they have every right to be," Franken said in a statement provided by his office. "My number one concern is to make sure the Affordable Care Act works for the people of Minnesota."
Slafter's own evolving views of the federal law illustrate well the pitfalls of using any one person or family's experience as emblematic. Since first going public, she said the Fillmore County family found out it is likely eligible for more federal subsidies to help pay for coverage than initially thought. She now doesn't anticipate the family losing money in the conversion next year.
But it will involve big changes. Slafter and her husband, a plumber, plan to shift their 7- and 14-year-old daughters onto Medicaid, rather than keeping the whole family on one coverage plan. While she still calls the signup process frustratingly complex, Slafter said she knows people who benefited from the law.
"They did such a lousy job with the rollout, and it's hard to separate that from the Affordable Care Act itself," she said. "But in my heart I do believe everyone has a right to health insurance."