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Unlike the political campaign, in which staffers relied on voting records to track possible supporters, there’s no ready-made list of the uninsured. So Marlon Marshall, a campaign veteran who now oversees health care outreach efforts for the White House, said the key for finding potential enrollees is to “meet them where they’re at.”

The approach worked for Philippe Komongnan, 27, a student at the University of the District of Columbia.

Komongnan thought he had health insurance, but when a bad ear infection brought him to the emergency room last year, he was told he no longer had coverage. Because his school requires students to have insurance, he had to sign up for coverage through the college that costs nearly $700 per semester.

Then Komongnan started noticing a health care display in the lobby of his classroom building, the one where Bransfield works most days. After a couple of conversations, Bransfield plugged Komongnan’s information into Washington’s health care website and discovered that he qualified for Medicaid, which has been expanded under the new law.

While Komongnan’s costs will drop dramatically, he doesn’t count toward the pool of young and healthy people the White House is courting because he’s getting coverage through Medicaid, not the new private marketplace.

Bransfield, who works for the aptly named organization Young Invincibles, said signing up young people takes patience, given that most are buying insurance on their own for the first time. The process can sometimes take weeks, he said, as people collect the information they need to enroll or weigh the options available to them.

But the deadline has increased the pressure on Bransfield to get the students through the system faster.

“We’re trying to make sure it feels urgent,” he said.

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Associated Press writer Skip Foreman in Jamestown, N.C., contributed to this report.

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Follow Julie Pace on Twitter at http://twitter.com/jpaceDC