IRVINGTON, N.J. (CBSNewYork) – The 10-part series, Understanding The Affordable Care Act, continues with a look at the grassroots effort under way in Irvington, N.J. to get the uninsured into the online exchanges.

On a hot August night, Irvington Mayor Wayne Smith opened his living room to volunteers from Enroll America, whose mission is to get the uninsured into the exchanges.

“This is critical. People need to know, to arm themselves with the appropriate information and that’s why I asked my wife to open up our home so that we can spread the word throughout the community,” Smith told Diamond.

States that designed their own exchanges will get federal help to spread the word.

New Jersey opted to go with the federal exchange, so it’s relying heavily on volunteers to inform the public.



“With 900,000 to 950,000 uninsured in New Jersey, there’s no way that any one organization will be able to reach most of those people,” Enroll America New Jersey director Justine Ceserano told Diamond.

“If you want to stabilize a community, you’re talking about food, clothing and shelter. After that, it’s health care,” said Smith.

In Part 5 on Friday, Diamond will introduce us to a Long Island mother battling cancer who is fearful of the coming implementation of the Affordable Care Act.

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