Healthy San Francisco Mandate Did Not Lead to Job Losses, Study Says
Healthy San Francisco's employer mandate did not lead to employment losses in the city, according to a new study by UC-Berkeley labor researcher Ken Jacobs, the San Francisco Chronicle reports.
San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom (D) and labor leaders released the study's findings on Thursday as part of an effort to promote Healthy San Francisco as a model for a successful public plan option.
Healthy San Francisco is intended to facilitate access to health care for all San Francisco residents. The program is not health insurance because it only covers services in San Francisco.
In 2008, Healthy San Francisco implemented a mandate requiring all city employers with 20 or more workers to:
- Contribute to employee medical reimbursement accounts;
- Pay into the city's fund for the program; or
- Provide health insurance benefits.
For the study, Jacobs examinedÂ quarterly data from the U.S. Department of Labor.
He found that since the mandate began in 2008, San Francisco's growth rate across all employment sectors performed as well or better than other counties in the San Francisco Bay area.
Although San Francisco's employment rate has declined during the ongoing recession, other counties have fared worse, Jacobs found.
He noted that these findings held true for food service, hotels, restaurants and retail. Some observers expected the employer mandate to hurt these sectors because such industries typically offer low wages and rarely offer health benefits (Knight, San Francisco Chronicle, 8/21).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.