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updated: 12/16/2013 6:09 PM

Duckworth: Signing up for insurance took 8 hours

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U.S. Rep. Tammy Duckworth, a Hoffman Estates Democrat, said she's happy with the health insurance plan she bought through the federal exchange but admitted she felt the same technological pain as a lot of other people trying to sign up as part of the Affordable Care Act.

"It took me eight hours of struggling with that Web page," Duckworth said Monday.

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In a meeting with the Daily Herald editorial board, she described being in her Washington, D.C., office a couple of weeks ago signing up for health insurance through the beleaguered website while occasionally stepping out to take votes.

"I sat in my office and worked and hit refresh," Duckworth said.

White House officials have since announced fixes intended to help the website run more smoothly.

Duckworth said that she's tired of the "drama" surrounding whether the Affordable Care Act should be repealed and said lawmakers should focus on making the new law work. She said confused constituents could contact her office to get directed to local groups that can help them.

Some people have received letters from their insurance companies saying their plans would no longer be carried after the new health care law takes effect. President Barack Obama has taken heat because of past public comments that people could keep their health care plans if they liked them.

Duckworth voted this year for legislation that could allow people to keep their existing health insurance plans past Jan. 1. The proposal hasn't advanced further, and Obama has promised to veto it.

Duckworth said the government should "keep that promise."

"We've got to protect these people," she said.

Duckworth represents the 8th Congressional District, which is centered around Schaumburg and extends to Elgin in the west, Des Plaines in the east, Lombard in the south and Arlington Heights and Barrington Hills in the north.

Two Republicans are signed up for a primary contest for the chance to run in the district in November: Larry Kaifesh of Carpentersville and Manju Goel of Aurora.

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