San Mateo County To Study Health Access Proposal
San Mateo County supervisors on Monday voted to spend $200,000 to study whether the county could implement a universal health access plan similar to a San Francisco proposal, the Oakland Tribune reports.
The plan by San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom (D) would expand health care access to the city's 82,000 uninsured residents and cost an estimated $200 million annually. Those who enroll in the plan would pay premiums and copayments on a sliding scale based on their income.
Supervisors will hire consultants to conduct a yearlong study on whether San Mateo County could offer a similar program and how that program could be structured.
The county already provides universal children's health coverage through its Children's Health Initiative program, and board President Jerry Hill said the same could be done for adults earning less that 400% of the federal poverty level.
According to Hill, who proposed the plan, the cost of providing such a plan could be lessened by distributing it among the local government, not-for-profit groups and businesses.
Oakland Mayor-elect Ron Dellums (D) also is examining the possibility of a health access program in Oakland (Ernde, Oakland Tribune, 6/27).