Newsom Concerned About Economic Impact of Proposed Employer Insurance Mandate
San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom (D) on Wednesday in a letter to the county Board of Supervisors said he is concerned that proposed legislation that would require businesses with 20 or more employees to provide health benefits to workers could hurt small businesses and not-for-profit organizations, the San Francisco Chronicle reports.
Under the proposal, introduced by Supervisor Tom Ammiano, San Francisco businesses that currently do not offer health care coverage would be required to establish health savings accounts and pay into them $345 monthly per employee. Businesses also could choose to reimburse workers directly for medical expenses.
Newsom in the letter said the potential financial impact on businesses could "decrease local jobs, diminish community services and weaken our neighborhood commercial districts."
Newsom called on the supervisors to conduct an impartial analysis of the economic impact of the proposed legislation. He also asked that they create a committee composed of elected officials, health care experts, community advocates and employer representatives to conduct a four-month study "to identify effective initiatives to expand health care access" (Gordon, San Francisco Chronicle, 12/22).