San Francisco Board of Supervisors Approves Health-Related Initiatives for November Ballot
The San Francisco Board of Supervisors on Tuesday approved for the November ballot an initiative that would authorize the city to make its health plans available to residents, the San Francisco Chronicle reports (Herel, San Francisco Chronicle, 7/21). The measure, introduced by Supervisor Chris Daly, would order the San Francisco Health Service System, which manages health benefits for city employees and retirees, to consider proposals to extend its medical and dental plans to city residents or develop alternatives to provide coverage. Daly introduced the measure to prompt supervisors to comply with a 1998 voter mandate to establish a universal health care system for San Francisco residents. Regardless of whether the initiative is approved, the city is not required to create such a health plan (California Healthline, 7/9).
In related news, the board also approved for the November ballot an initiative that would reorganize HSS and another measure that would give the San Francisco Commission on Aging authority over the city Department of Aging and Adult Services. Supervisors also voted to approve a payroll tax exemption for biotechnology companies. Peter Ragone, a spokesperson for Mayor Gavin Newsom (D), said the tax exclusion is "a really significant development" that Newsom promised to voters during his campaign. Ragone said Newsom considers the payroll tax exemption "a linchpin for our economic development policy" because it could "lead to a lot of jobs here in town" (San Francisco Chronicle, 7/21).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.