The number of Illinoisans selecting health insurance on the state’s online marketplace spiked towards the end of 2013. More than 61,000 had picked a policy through Dec. 28. That’s about 6,000 short of the Obama administration’s original goal, but it’s an increase from the first two months of signups, when about 7,000 had selected an insurance plan. U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) believes those improved numbers should silence politicians who want to repeal the Affordable Care Act.
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“We’re not going to let them do it,” Durbin said. “We’ve got to have people speak up across America. We are doing the right thing to find more insurance for more people.” There are some troubling signs in the new numbers, which included demographic information about people signing up for the first time. Just 23 percent of those who selected coverage in Illinois are between 18 and 34. The administration was counting on higher enrollment from young people, who will offset the cost of covering older and sicker consumers.