San Francisco Businesses Cautiously Optimistic Over Newsom’s Plan
San Francisco businesses are "cautiously optimistic" that Mayor Gavin Newsom's (D) proposal to provide basic health services to uninsured city residents could affordably expand access to care, the San Francisco Examiner reports (Jouvenal, San Francisco Examiner, 2/2).
Under the proposal, announced Tuesday, residents who enroll in the plan would receive routine health services, such as physicals and prenatal checkups, at one of the 21 public and private health clinics around the city. Certain complex procedures would be performed at designated hospitals in the city. The out-of-pocket costs for surgery and other major procedures would be capped at an undetermined amount (California Healthline, 2/1).
Steve Falk, president of the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce, said businesses could pay part of the cost of Newsom's plan -- an estimated $75 per month per employee. The rest of the cost would paid by patients and taxpayers, according to the proposal.
A health access council will work out the details, including the cost, of Newsom's plan over the next two weeks.
Businesses had criticized a proposed employer health care mandate by Supervisor Tom Ammiano, saying the estimated cost of that plan -- originally $92 to $345 and eventually reduced to $50 or $75 per employee per month -- would cause businesses to go bankrupt.
Ammiano on Wednesday amended his legislation to include portions of Newsom's proposal. He said the city might consider adopting both proposals and allowing businesses to choose which one they prefer.
Some labor leaders questioned the quality of care patients would receive under the plan. Supervisor Chris Daly also questioned whether the quality of care at the clinics would be affected by an influx of patients (San Francisco Examiner, 2/2).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.