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DC Council to take up health exchange requirement

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The D.C. Council is taking up a bill that would push the nation's capital to the forefront of implementing a health insurance exchange as mandated by the federal health care overhaul.

The bill being considered Tuesday would require that all health insurance for individuals and small businesses be purchased through the exchange by 2015, essentially closing the city's insurance market.

Advocates say the bill will make insurance more affordable and promote transparency and competition. The insurance industry opposes the move, but the bill doesn't appear to have much opposition on the 13-member council.

Councilmember David Grosso says he was concerned about closing the insurance market because other states aren't doing it. But he says his concerns have been addressed and he now supports the bill.