National Health Reform Would Not End Need for Healthy San Francisco
Although Healthy San Francisco might operate on a smaller scale if national health care reform passes, the program likely will continue to meet specialized health care needs in the city, the San Francisco Chronicle reports.
Health care reform bills currently under debate in Congress would increase the number of current Healthy San Francisco enrollees who would qualify for Medicaid.
However, all of the health reform proposals still would leave some U.S. residents without health insurance coverage, including:
- Low-income residents who do not qualify for health insurance subsidies;
- Recent documented immigrants who are not yet eligible for public programs and who cannot afford private coverage; and
- Undocumented immigrants.
All of these groups could receive coverage under Healthy San Francisco. The program does not base eligibility requirements on employment, health or immigration status.
Healthy San Francisco also offers coverage for some services that would not be covered under a government-run public health insurance plan, such as elective abortion.
In addition, some experts say Healthy San Francisco could provide gap coverage because most of the national health reform proposals would not take effect until 2013 or 2014 (Colliver, San Francisco Chronicle, 11/23).
A National Model?
In related news, some experts are looking to Healthy San Francisco for lessons on how certain elements of national health care reform legislation might play out.
For example, some groups have protested San Francisco's mandate requiring all employers to contribute to workers' health insurance benefits. The employer mandate also is a controversial element of the health care reform proposals currently under debate in Congress (Barbassa, AP/Ventura County Star, 11/20).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.