Cost for Health Access Program Raises Doubts
San Francisco's Health Access Program -- designed to provide access to health services to more than 80,000 uninsured residents -- could serve as an example for the state in deciding how insure all Californians, columnist Daniel Weintraub writes in the Sacramento Bee.
The program, set to take effect July 2007, "will look like a hybrid of private insurance and public safety-net programs," Weintraub writes.
Funding for covering the plan's estimated $200 million annual cost includes:
- $110 million annually in city funds that currently subsidize health care for low-income residents;
- $40 million to $50 million annually in individual co-payments; and
- Employer contributions.
The major question, Weintraub writes, will be how the city can afford the cost. Even if employers are required to contribute, funding may still fall short, according to Weintraub. The program could become a "huge political headache" if it becomes too expensive, which would force lawmakers to consider reducing benefits or eligibility, he writes (Weintraub, Sacramento Bee, 12/19). This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.