Please contact the DC Council Members today and ask them to support the DC Health Care Exchange funding “as introduced” in the Budget Request Act. Per the Affordable Care Act, the District of Columbia has developed its own Healthcare Exchange to help individuals and small businesses attain affordable health insurance. The District’s Health Benefit Exchange is set to begin enrollment on October 1, 2013. In the absence of its own healthcare exchange, the District (like states that opt out of creating an exchange) would have to rely on a cookie-cutter federal healthcare exchange, which would likely not have all the consumer protections that the District’s exchange would. This is vitally important because the DC Health Exchange has trans-inclusive care language in it. Powerful forces trying to discredit the Affordable Care Act have gathered to defeat DC's health care exchange. If those folks are successful, we will lose local control over our health exchange, which means we could lose our battle to make sure Health Exchange-provided plans do not have trans exclusions.