SEATTLE (AP) - Officials launching Washington state's new health insurance exchange have said they aren't concerned that computer glitches, bad weather or even debates in Washington, D.C., over a possible government shutdown will stop people from signing up for health insurance when the marketplace debuts on Tuesday.
"We're not really worried about that," said Michael Marchand, spokesman for the Washington Health Benefit Exchange, which runs the Washington state programs involved in President Barack Obama's Affordable Care Act.
They're also not worried about being overwhelmed by consumer phone calls or Internet traffic or even political protests when the exchange opens, he said.
"This is a long-awaited step forward for our country and our state," Gov. Jay Inslee said during a news conference in Olympia. "Despite the shenanigans happening in Washington, D.C., today, we're ready to go in the state of Washington tomorrow."
State Sen. Karen Keiser says the Affordable Care Act is the law of the land and nothing that happens in Washington, D.C., this week will change that.
"This isn't a one-day event. This is a landmark in history," said Keiser, D-Kent.
Washington Healthplanfinder: http://www.wahealthplanfinder.org
On the telephone:
1-855-923-4633 on weekdays from 7:30 a.m. to 8 p.m.