San Francisco Small Businesses Vote Against Employer Insurance Mandate
The San Francisco Small Business Commission on Monday voted to oppose a proposal that would require San Francisco businesses with 20 or more employees to provide health benefits to workers, the San Francisco Examiner reports. The commission has an advisory role on the proposed measure (Jouvenal, San Francisco Examiner, 1/10).
Under the proposal, introduced by Supervisor Tom Ammiano, San Francisco businesses that currently do not offer health care coverage would be required to establish health savings accounts and pay into them $345 monthly per employee. Businesses also could choose to reimburse workers directly for medical expenses (California Healthline, 1/6).
The commission voted instead to support a proposal by Mayor Gavin Newsom (D) that would create a panel to examine the issue and conduct an in-depth economic analysis.
According to Jim Lazarus, a senior vice president of the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce, the mandate would force some businesses already providing health benefits to pay more, and employers would have to pay health costs for workers who already receive coverage under a spouse's plan.
The proposal will be considered by the county Board of Supervisors Finance Committee on Feb. 1.
Ammiano said he would place the measure on the ballot if Newsom vetoes it, but the mayor has not indicated whether he will reject the plan (San Francisco Examiner, 1/10).