WASHINGTON, Sept. 12 (UPI) -- D.C. United, the professional soccer team in Washington, has agreed to partner with the city's health exchange in a publicity drive for health insurance.
The partnership was discussed at DC Health Link's board meeting Wednesday night, Politico reported. The first public events, including announcements over the public address system, are set for Oct. 4 when United plays the Chicago Fire in Washington.
Health exchanges have been attempting to partner with sports teams to convince the young healthy uninsured to buy health policies, Politico said. Officials fear young people who do not have health coverage through work will decide to forgo policies, leaving the health exchanges with older, sicker and more expensive to insure policy holders.
Republican opponents of the Affordable Healthcare Act have been trying to discourage such alliances. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, sent professional sports leagues a letter warning them off, although they did not include Major League Soccer.
The Maryland health exchange announced a partnership last week with the Baltimore Ravens, the current Super Bowl Champions.
Washington officials say many United fans are in their target group, The Washington Times reported. About two-thirds are between the ages of 18 and 44, just over one in four are Hispanic and 22 percent are black.