San Francisco Considers Alcohol Fee To Recover Funds for Health Costs
On Tuesday, San Francisco Supervisor John Avalos (D) introduced legislation that would impose a fee on alcoholic beverages to raise funds for health care costs associated with alcohol misuse, the San Francisco Chronicle reports
The measure would levy a $0.076 fee for each ounce of alcohol sold in a drink. Avalos estimated that the fee would add slightly less than a nickel to the cost of standard alcoholic beverages.
Recovering Health Care Costs
Unlike taxes, fees are not contingent upon public votes and are tied to cost recovery (Gordon, San Francisco Chronicle, 6/23).
According to a study conducted during an evaluation of the proposed fee, the city spends more than $17 million in costs associated with alcohol use (Sabatini, San Francisco Examiner, 6/23).
Supporters expect theÂ feeÂ to generate more than $15 million annually, which would help cover costs associated with:
- Ambulance transportation to bring public inebriates to emergency departments;
- Unreimbursed hospital and clinic services for alcohol-related accidents and diseases; and
- Programs funded by the Department of Public Health that aim to prevent and treat alcoholism (San Francisco Chronicle, 6/23).
At least six members of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors would need to approve the fee for it to take effect (San Francisco Examiner, 6/23).
A similar bill failed to pass the California Legislature this year, partially because of opposition from the alcoholic beverage industry (San Francisco Chronicle, 6/23).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.