At-large District of Columbia Councilman David Catania has introduced two pieces of legislation aimed at extending Mayor Vincent Gray’s cabinet and forming a health care exchange.
In a measure that would elevate the city’s HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis, STD and Tuberculosis Administration, Catania, who chairs the Council’s Health Committee, proposed that the agency’s senior deputy director report directly to Gray.
“In approximately 18 months, the world’s eyes will be on the District of Columbia’s fight to stop the spread of HIV/AIDS,” Catania said in a press statement. “This will be a unique chance for the District to showcase our revamped efforts to eliminate this disease. We cannot waste this opportunity, which is why I am proposing the promotion of the HASTA within the executive branch of our local government.”
Catania also wants passage of a bill that would authorize and provide the framework for the Department of Healthcare Finance.
The agency would establish an independent health care exchange as required by President Barack Obama’s healthcare reform law.
According to Catania, the exchange would be a marketplace for District residents to choose among the city’s public and private health plans and to be screened for Medicaid eligibility.