Legislation to Require Employers To Provide Health Care Coverage Introduced in San Francisco
San Francisco Supervisor Tom Ammiano on Tuesday introduced legislation that would require businesses with 20 or more employees to provide health care coverage for workers, the San Francisco Chronicle reports.
Under the proposal, businesses that do not offer health insurance to employees would be required to establish health savings accounts for workers and pay $345 per month per employee into the account. The savings would be used to purchase health insurance for workers, the Chronicle reports.
Companies also could reimburse employees directly for the cost of health care, according to the legislation.
The measure is supported by the San Francisco Labor Council and the Senior Action Network, as well as Supervisors Ross Mirkarimi, Chris Daly and Sophie Maxwell.
Opponents of the legislation say it would hurt area businesses by increasing costs to employers. In addition, opponents claim the proposal violates federal law governing how employers provide health care coverage to workers. If the ordinance passes, it likely will be challenged in court.
San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom (D) on Tuesday said he has not reviewed details of the plan, but he is concerned the ordinance could "have a serious impact" on the city's economic recovery and "ability to compete."
The legislation needs six of 11 votes to pass, and eight votes to withstand a mayoral veto.
Hearings on the legislation are expected to be scheduled early next year (Goodyear, San Francisco Chronicle, 11/23).