I do know it will expand Medicaid to cover a lot more people, so if any family members are low income they should be able to be covered under that. Medicaid is not bad - I had it when I was younger and it was the best health care I ever received - imagine that. Anyway, the law will mandate that you do carry health coverage or be fined. If you are unable to pay the fine, the govt will take your tax return to cover it so there is no escape. Everyone is required to have coverage period, regardless of income level etc., which is why so many are opposed because nothing has really been put in place to ensure that the insurance companies will not gouge everyone. They are also no longer allowed to deny coverage due to pre-existing conditions and some other good parts to the law. This ensures that everyone (in theory) CAN actually be covered - if they have the money.
The idea was this system was supposed to lower costs by making everyone participate - everyone then is mandated to be responsible to carry insurance etc. and with everyone participating, in theory (but not in actuality most likely) medical care costs should be more affordable for everyone.
Hopefully there will be enough competition among insurance companies to find reasonable rates, but if today's rates are any indication, particularly for those who are self-employed, I am not optimistic at ever having a tax return again ;)