Healthy San Francisco Program Survives Latest Court Challenge
On Monday, the Healthy San Francisco program withstood another court challenge, setting the stage for the Golden Gate Restaurant Association to take its case against a key funding mechanism of the program to the U.S. Supreme Court, KTVU.com reports.
Healthy San Francisco aims to ensure access to health care to all San Francisco residents.
The program relies on funding from the city, state and fees from people enrolled in the program, as well as contributions from employers (KTVU.com, 3/9).
Under the law that created Healthy San Francisco, employers with at least 20 workers must provide health insurance benefits, pay the city for coverage through Healthy San Francisco or contribute to health care accounts for employees (CotÃ©, "City Insider," San Francisco Chronicle, 3/9).
Details of Court Challenge
GGRA maintains that the employer funding requirement violates a 1974 federal law that governs health insurance benefits.
A series of court rulings have rejected that argument, including a three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in September 2008.
On Monday, the court rejected GGRA's request for an 11-judge panel to review that ruling (Begin, San Francisco Examiner, 3/10).
GGRA Executive Director Kevin Westlye said the group would take its appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court, explaining, "This country has a health care crisis, and it needs to address it on a national basis."Â He added, "What we don't need is one municipality to put out its version for an expenditure for health care."San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom (D) applauded the ruling and called on GGRA to drop its appeal ("City Insider," San Francisco Chronicle, 3/9). 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.