San Francisco Expands Health Access Program
On Monday, San Francisco will begin enrolling residents in its universal health care access program at 20 additional clinics citywide, the San Francisco Examiner reports. Enrollment has been limited to two clinics in Chinatown since the program launched in July (Eslinger, San Francisco Examiner, 9/17).
Participants will have access to 14 city health clinics and eight affiliated community clinics, with an emphasis on preventive care and chronic disease care. However, because it is not health insurance, the program will not cover the cost of services received outside the city (California Healthline, 9/14).
San Francisco officials aim to enroll 17,000 residents by the end of 2007.
The program is projected to cost $196 million annually, with funding being pulled from the city, state and federal governments, as well as program participants and San Francisco employers (San Francisco Examiner, 9/17).
However, the Golden Gate Restaurant Association is challenging the employer contributions provision in court, arguing that it violates a federal law governing employer health benefits (California Healthline, 9/14).
A summary judgment in the lawsuit is expected by Nov. 2 (San Francisco Examiner, 9/17).
American Public Media's "Marketplace Morning Report" on Monday reported on the program expansion. The segment includes comments from:
- Sandra Hernandez of the San Francisco Foundation; and
- Tangerine Brigham, director of the program (Palmer, "Marketplace Morning Report," American Public Media, 9/17).
A transcript and audio of the segment are available online. 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.