Debate Continues Over Healthy San Francisco Plan
Launched in July, the Healthy San Francisco universal health care access program has expanded citywide to 14 health clinics and eight community clinics. The program seeks to enroll all 82,000 adult uninsured residents over the next two years.
The program is not health insurance, however, and only covers the cost of health care services within the city.
The goal of the program is to provide preventive care for uninsured residents and reduce the rate of chronic diseases, which increase hospitalization and leave the city with the bill.
Funding for the program is slated to come from federal funds, membership fees and copayments, and employer contributions.
The Golden Gate Restaurant Association is suing to block the employer contributions from taking effect (California Healthline, 10/22).
Summaries of opinion pieces regarding the Healthy San Francisco program and GGRA's lawsuit appear below.
- Steve Heilig, Philip Lee, San Francisco Chronicle: "We strongly feel that GGRA should withdraw its unpopular and shortsighted lawsuit, and let the Healthy San Francisco program take effect," Heilig, of the San Francisco Medical Society, and Lee, chancellor emeritus of UC-San Francisco and former U.S. Assistant Secretary of Health, write in a Chronicle opinion piece. "San Francisco is poised to become the first city in the nation to actually implement what virtually everyone agrees is a good, and morally important, concept: universal access to at least some minimal level of health care," Heilig and Lee write, adding, "It's time for everyone to be on board" (Heilig/Lee, San Francisco Chronicle, 11/27).
- Kevin Westlye, San Francisco Chronicle: The Healthy San Francisco program has a "faulty funding mechanism" that "will hurt employers, employees and our local economy," Westlye, executive director of GGRA, writes in a Chronicle opinion piece. "Creating a system that costs more, provides less and does nothing to control rising costs is not a solution to our health care problems," Westlye writes (Westlye, San Francisco Chronicle, 11/27).