Getting health coverage Monday was a major headache for some, as websites for the Affordable Care Act buckled under the weight of hundreds of thousands of people registering. NY1's Josh Robin filed the following report.
Signing up for health insurance means that Monica Barnes can finally see a doctor.
Barnes: I don't visit because of the money.
Robin: And now?
Barnes: I'll feel much better vising now.
However, as her health is poised to improve, the health of the website giving her coverage took a turn for the worse. New York State's site had a case of the hiccups, and the federal exchange shut down entirely for several hours Monday. It recuperated by midday.
As long as you begin signing up Monday, you're not penalized.
"As you can see by the lines around the country this weekend, we are seeing a surge in enrollment," said White House Press Secretary Jay Carney. "More than 6 million people have signed up."
That includes many in New York, in person at Bellevue Hospital and over the phone.
"We're seeing a rush of people calling and trying to make the deadline and get health insurance," said Shaleem Thompson of 311.
The Affordable Care Act remains a remarkably resilient political lightning rod. The president signed it into law a little bit more than four years ago. Now, opposition to it could strip Democrats of their control in the U.S. Senate.
You don't need to convince Monica Barnes. She got a clean bill, with the process taking only about 15 minutes longer than normal.
"I'll be able to visit every time I have a doctor's visit," she said. "I won't be afraid not to come out."
Her insurance starts May 1.