Obamacare Exchange Opens: We Ask New Yorkers, Will You Get it?

The government may have shutdown over the funding of Obamacare Tuesday, but that hasn't stopped the online exchange integral to the Affordable Care Act from opening, ushering in the biggest healthcare reform America has seen in a half-century.

Skeptics have pointed out that many Americans still aren't clear on what Obamacare is and does. We weren't sure if that's true, so Bustle took to the streets to find out how regular Americans (fine, New Yorkers) feel about Obamacare.

Veronique Lee, 29

“I actually haven’t been paying attention, because I’m already insured. It doesn’t apply to me.

But I’ve been uninsured before, and if I still wasn’t then I’d get it. I have a union job, and I was inactive for my union for a while, so I wasn’t insured and it was scary — Obamacare is much better than nothing. I like to go biking, and I did the five-borough bike tour, and fell off my bike. I wasn’t insured at the time. It was only a few bruises, but it could have been so much worse.”

Kerri Anne, college student and intern (far left)

“Personally, I don’t really support it.

I come from a poor family, and any sort of healthcare has always been a trouble for me. My healthcare comes from my father’s work, if he earns enough, but he’s unemployed right now. My experience with “free healthcare” is that it’s not really free. I was so off-put by my own experience… I was sick, and went to the emergency room, and because I didn’t come in an ambulance they wouldn’t see me for hours. Until I was throwing up on the floor. They took blood, and promised it’d be free because I’m a student, and then they charged me $5,000. Now i’m receiving calls from debt collectors.”

Brooke Clark, 34

“I just moved here from Texas and started work as a nanny. Because of this job, I’m employed by a family, and I don’t have health insurance.

“I’ve been reading up on it, and trying to get some. If I can afford it, then I’m definitely going to get the Obamacare health plan. Hopefully, the point is that it’s a lot more affordable.”

Joy Glidden, 53

“Everyone who says they don’t understand Obamacare must be two steps removed from the whole process.

As New Yorkers, we don’t listen to the radio. Newspapers are now online, and people only have so much time devoted to digital. I’m Canadian, so I’m biased, but I’ve lived in New York for 30 years.To me, America’s one of the last countries that doesn’t have healthcare. aside from the — politically incorrect! — third-world countries. In other developed countries, everyone else has already done it. Like, come on, guys.

I don’t have health insurance, because I’m in between positions. Obamacare is just beginning, but then it’ll level out. Then I’ll get myself a policy. Because it’s kind of the start — it’s not the end. It’ll evolve into a better system, but Republicans just don’t want it to begin.”

Sam Prussman, 25

“So, I’m 25. I think I’m right on the cusp, and I’ve always been on my family’s insurance policy.

I was hoping to stay on that for as long as I could. I’m gonna have to figure it out. I don’t know, I’m hoping you could be grandfather’d in. You know, like a grandfather clause making sure you’re in something?”