Critics Call S.F. Mayor Brown’s Plan for the Uninsured ‘Rushed’
Business leaders and city supervisors yesterday expressed "concern" that San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown's (D) "landmark" proposal to expand health coverage for the uninsured is "moving too fast and needs further study," the San Francisco Chronicle reports. The plan would cover 16,000 uninsured people, costing an estimated $4 million over each of the next two years and $3.7 million in the third year. Brown introduced the measure on May 7 and said he hopes the Board of Supervisors will approve it in time for the fiscal year beginning July 1. But Supervisor Tony Hall said he was "concerned" about the "process [the measure] has gone through," adding, "I want the message to go back to the mayor: We're not here to work in a rush." Jim Mathias, vice president of public affairs for the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce, said, "This process was flawed and rushed. Anything that affects more than 16,000 employees, at a cost of almost $11.7 million over the first three years, deserves thoughtful and thorough consideration." The board's Rules Committee has forwarded the measure without recommendation to the Finance Committee, which will consider the plan on Monday. The full board will discuss the measure for the first time later that afternoon. A final approval vote is set for May 29 (Gordon, San Francisco Chronicle, 5/18).