Missourians have started signing up for health insurance coverage under the Affordable Care Act.  Hundreds of thousands of people are eligible to take part.

Some of those who wanted to sign up or get information had trouble connecting to the marketplace’s webpage.  But they have until the end of next March to get in.

Health Policy Vice President Ryan Barker of the Missouri Foundation for Health says the organization says the foundation found a lot of interest during meetings throughout the state during the summer. They also found a lot of people who don’t know about the program–despite three years of politicking, talk radio criticism, and controversy.

“A lot of people have sort of turned it off,” he says.  “We’re a little worried that people are just sort of sick of the rhetoric and are just turning it off  and there may actually be some good news for many consumers in this law.”

He says Missouri is a little low in the number of companies offering coverage but some states have only one company offering service.  Barker hopes more companies will become involved after the first round of signups.

Congressional Republicans still want to kill the Affordable Care Act.  But Barker doesn’t think that will happen now that the program is underway.

AUDIO: Barker interview 9:53