Other SF News: Higher Costs, More Government

By May 6, 2008Health Care

From The San Francisco Chronicle, last Friday:

San Francisco’s groundbreaking program to provide health care to all 73,000 uninsured city residents received a major lift this week as more than 700 businesses in the city signed up for the plan.

The businesses represent 12,900 employees, more than half of whom are eligible for the Healthy San Francisco program, which currently enrolls 19,000 people. The other employees are eligible for a health-care reimbursement account.

Major boost! Guess the critics were wrong, right? Except….

The program is expected to cost about $200 million a year, with a portion of that paid by employers who join. So far, businesses have contributed about $6 million to the program, according to the Department of Public Health.

Well, they’re 3 percent of the way! (If that $200 million figure isn’t a low-ball figure.)

The Pacific Research Institute’s John Graham comments, “And, did I mention that San Francisco, like California, has a big bomb of a budget deficit before taking SFHAP into account?”

The NAM has filed an amicus brief in the lawsuit brought by the Golden Gate Restaurant Association against the city plan, which violates ERISA, the federal law that supersedes state and local regulation of employee-provided health care.

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