April 17 (Bloomberg) — Eight million people signed up for Obamacare in the law's first year, President Barack Obama said, declaring that Republicans should stop trying to repeal the measure and work to improve it instead.

About 35 percent of enrollees in the federal insurance exchanges are younger than 35, Obama said. That's a four percentage-point rise since March 1, indicating a surge of sign- ups by young adults and children. Insurers want as many healthy customers as possible to balance the risk and expense of covering older and sicker Americans.

Obama's announcement at the White House came two days after enrollment closed for the year under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Earlier, he met with state insurance commissioners and executives from companies including WellPoint Inc. and HealthNet Inc. to discuss preparations for 2015 signups, which begin Nov. 15.

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