Nearly two years after President Obama signed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act into law, the department of Health and Human Services this week finally issued its guidelines regarding the now-infamous state exchanges.

Let’s just set aside for now the troubling fact that the feds have already handed out cash to 33 states to help set them up – months before these actual guidelines dropped.

I’m still wading through the nearly 650-page set of rules, so it’s a little early to offer much in the way of insight or critique, but I’m encouraged that the states appear to have a great deal of leeway in how these things will be set up and run. Even if the feds (once again) put the cart before the horse on this one.

And let’s not forget oral arguments are set before the U.S. Supreme Court March 26-28 with a ruling expected by the first of July, which could render all of this academic.

And with that, let me throw out words of advice from one of my favorites: “If you don’t like the conversation, change it.”

That nugget comes from adman Don Draper, pop culture’s coolest icon – at least right now – and a personal hero.

This response stemmed from his agency’s biggest client – Lucky Strike – and the burgeoning backlash cigarette makers faced in the mid-sixties from both the feds and an increasingly concerned public.

It also works for a much less cool magazine editor besieged with complaints over signing liberal firebrand – and alto presidential campaigner – Howard Dean to speak at the Benefits Selling Expo in May. Who knew a single keynote speaker would spark such a protest? It’s not like we’re rigging a third world election. Or turning brokers into mobile hotspots.

So, I’m changing the conversation. At least a little bit.

Either way, I’m pretty excited to announce that former Bush White House counselor Karen Hughes will be joining us in San Antonio, as well. I think she’ll bring an interesting, and well informed, take on this year’s election – and what it could mean for all of us – to this year’s expo.

I can’t wait to see you there.