Oakland Mayor-Elect Considers Health Access Plan
Oakland Mayor-elect Ron Dellums (D) is considering plans to expand health care access in the city, including a plan similar to one announced by San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom (D) last week, the San Francisco Chronicle reports (Heredia, San Francisco Chronicle, 6/26).
Newsom's proposal would provide all uninsured city residents with access to a range of health services. The proposal would cost an estimated $200 million annually (California Healthline, 6/21).
However, Alameda County and Oakland officials, as well as other health care experts, say Newsom's plan likely would face additional obstacles in Oakland because of differences between the two cities' government structure.
One of the main differences is that San Francisco is a county and a city and Newsom can combine resources at San Francisco General Hospital and community clinics for the health access plan. Dellums does not have authority over Alameda County Medical Center and other public health clinics, which are run by the county.
In addition, San Francisco has fewer uninsured residents and more revenue than Oakland. A task force appointed by Newsom estimated that the universal health access plan would cost San Francisco $2,400 per person.
By comparison, Alameda County Health Care Services Agency Director David Kears estimated it would cost Alameda County $350 million annually to cover all uninsured residents. Kears based the figure on the San Francisco task force's cost estimate (San Francisco Chronicle, 6/26).