San Francisco Mayor Unveils Universal Health Care Access Plan
San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom (D) on Tuesday unveiled a universal health care access plan that would allow uninsured city residents to receive a defined set of health care benefits and would be funded by a private-public partnership, the San Francisco Examiner reports.
Under the proposal, 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. San Francisco Health Plan, which runs the clinics, would administer Newsom's plan.
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 (Jouvenal, San Francisco Examiner, 2/1).
Although costs for the program have not been determined, estimates are between $50 and $100 per month per uninsured resident. Also unknown is how the costs of the plan would be divided among patients, taxpayers and businesses.
Newsom said cost details will be decided by a committee comprising business, labor and consumer interests; city officials; hospital and community center representatives; academic experts; and other health care stakeholders. The committee, which Newsom intends to form soon, will have 100 days to develop a plan.
Newsom announced his proposal one day before a City Hall hearing on a plan by Supervisor Tom Ammiano that would require businesses to contribute to employee health coverage.
Ammiano said on Tuesday that he supports Newsom's plan and believes it would provide coverage to more uninsured residents than his own proposal. He added that he plans to amend his plan on Wednesday to include parts of Newsom's proposal (Gordon, San Francisco Chronicle, 2/1).