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Reviewers and officials from the exchange selected applicants based on their ability to cover a broad spectrum of the District, particularly in areas with a high proportion of uninsured residents. They also sought groups with assisters who could speak Spanish or Amharic, the latter a reflection of the city’s large Ethiopian population.
The District has a relatively low proportion of uninsured residents, but officials said the resources will go a long way toward reaching those who still lack coverage.
“Amen, somebody,” said Rev. Henry White, senior pastor of Brown Memorial African Methodist Episcopal Church, which received a $95,000 grant.
Congressional staffers who live in the city will be among the enrollees in the D.C. exchange, because of a provision in the law aimed at making sure members of Congress and their aides feel the effects of the reforms firsthand.
The Obama administration sparked controversy when it recently decided to let the government offer a longstanding subsidy that offsets up to 75 percent of members’ and staffers’ premium costs, even though they will be gaining coverage through the exchange.
The proposed rule by the Office of Personnel Management said individual lawmakers will designate who is an official staff member subject to the exchange.
Ms. Kofman said the exchange is engaged in preliminary discussions with Capitol Hill to make the transition “as seamless as possible,” but she does not yet have an official roster or tally of congressional employees who will enter the city’s exchange.
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About the Author
Tom Howell Jr. covers politics for The Washington Times. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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