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D.C. Combines Health Care Exchanges For Individuals, Small Biz

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As D.C. prepares to implement the new federal health care law, the city will require small businesses to participate in a brand new health exchange.

D.C.'s health benefit exchange authority says it's merging the health exchange markets for individuals and small businesses with fewer than 50 employees.

D.C. has relatively few uninsured people and Council member David Catania, who supports the move, said in a statement the merger will create sufficient volume in the exchange to bring down costs.

It's a relatively unique strategy — only one state, Vermont, is taking a similar approach — and it's being opposed by some in the business community who fear it will lead to higher health care costs for the businesses which will be required to participate.

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