Committee Approves Health Care Access Plan
The San Francisco Board of Supervisors Budget and Finance Committee on Monday approved legislation that would provide health care access to the city's estimated 85,000 uninsured residents and mandate employer contributions to help fund the program, the San Francisco Chronicle reports (Bowman, San Francisco Chronicle, 7/18).
The plan would offer health care access to uninsured residents at a cost of about $200 million annually. According to the plan, the city would contribute $104 million currently allocated to treat the uninsured.
Under a compromise reached last week, employers would contribute about $28 million through a mandate Supervisor Tom Ammiano proposed that would require businesses to contribute $1.06 or $1.60 per hour worked per employee toward worker health care, depending on the company's size. Companies that provide health coverage but spend less than the minimum level would be required to contribute (California Healthline, 7/17).
In a meeting last week with editors of the San Francisco Business Times, Mayor Gavin Newsom (D) said he supports offering tax incentives to businesses affected by the employer contribution mandate.
Business leaders have proposed amendments that would call for the health access plan to be funded through a sales tax increase or an additional fee to business licenses, but such proposals "have not gained traction," the Business Times reports (Young, San Francisco Business Times, 7/14).
Member premiums and other sources would provide about $56 million toward the cost of the health plan (California Healthline, 7/17).
The full board is expected to approve the legislation on Tuesday (San Francisco Chronicle, 7/18).