San Francisco Mayor Vetoes Amendment to Health Care Program
On Tuesday, San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee (D) vetoed an amendment to Healthy San Francisco -- the city's universal health care program -- that would have adjusted a rule governing howÂ employers recover employees' unused health care funds, the San Francisco Examiner reports.
Supervisors approved the measure in a 6-5 vote on Oct. 18. Eight votes are needed to override a veto.
Employers participating in Healthy San Francisco must spend a certain amount of money on health coverage for each hour employees work.
About 860 employers in the city set aside funds in health reimbursement accounts. Employers can recoup any funds that are not used within a year (Koskey, San Francisco Examiner, 10/25).
In 2010, businesses contributed $62.5 million to the health reimbursements accounts. Employees used $12.4 million of those funds, and employers recovered the rest.
The amendment, by Supervisor David Campos, would have required employers to wait 18 months after a worker left a job beforeÂ recovering the money.
Businesses had argued that the legislation could force them to close, relocate, lay off workers or postpone expansion plans.
Details of the Veto
Lee said, "This legislation aims to solve an important problem, but imposes an overly broad approach to solving a discrete set of issues."
While Lee agreed with business owners that the proposal would be bad for companies, he said changes are needed.
Lee has formed a working group to determine if a compromise can be reached.
Meanwhile, Campos said he might seek to place the measure on the ballot.
Next week, the board is expected to consider a separate proposal by Supervisor David Chiu. His measure would require that one year's worth of health care funds always be available to employees (Gordon, San Francisco Chronicle, 10/26).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.