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Obamacare healthcare exchange gets lots of visitors, delays

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A high volume of visitors on the healthcare.gov website may cause delays for people interested in learning more about the Affordable Care Act's online health insurance marketplace. (healthcare.gov) A high volume of visitors on the healthcare.gov website may cause delays for people interested in learning more about the Affordable Care Act's online health insurance marketplace. (healthcare.gov)
President Barack Obama discussed the government shutdown Monday as House Republicans attempted to attach the defunding or delay of Obamacare to a federal spending bill. (Source: CNN) President Barack Obama discussed the government shutdown Monday as House Republicans attempted to attach the defunding or delay of Obamacare to a federal spending bill. (Source: CNN)

(RNN) - Despite the federal government shutdown, the exchange marketplace websites of the Affordable Care Act, commonly known as Obamacare, launched Tuesday.

The law, called the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, was designed to "increase the number of Americans covered by health insurance and decrease the cost of health care."

The website healthcare.gov reported a high amount of traffic as people got their first chance to look at and enroll in a health insurance plan through the exchange. The open enrollment period runs through Mar. 31, with plans going into effect no sooner than Jan. 1.

In a CNN interview on Tuesday, Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius said that the high traffic "shows how many people are eager to get information."

A disagreement over the Affordable Care Act led to the governmental shutdown. House Republicans hinged the budget agreement on delaying or defunding the healthcare law, something the Senate and President Barack Obama rejected.

Some states elected to run their own exchanges where residents can find options for healthcare coverage. For those in states that did not elect to run an exchange, or did not have an exchange prepared in time, they can use the federal-run version.

To find out what website applies to your state and additional information, go to healthcare.gov and click on "Want to Learn More First?' Consumers may also call 1-800-381-2596 or TTY:1-855-889-4325 for information.

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