18 Jul 2013

Will Obamacare Kill Healthy San Francisco?

18 Jul 2013

Chris Rauber is asking those questions at the San Francisco Business Times, and apparently, so is much of the San Francisco business community.  Well summed up by Jim Lazarus of the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce:

Among the problem area, according to Lazarus:

  • The federal individual mandate is not met by Healthy San Francisco.
  • The health reimbursement accounts now used by some San Francisco businesses to comply with the local mandate won’t be available next year.
  • Healthy San Francisco, after Jan. 1, will be primarily an “avenue of last resort” for individuals, including undocumented residents, who don’t qualify for other programs. “Some may be willing to stay in the program and pay the penalty” for not having individual insurance, Lazarus speculated.
I agree that these are the major sticking points, but it is the Employer Spending Requirement that the business community (especially the Golden Gate Restaurant Association) would really like to get out from under.  Businesses of 20-49 employees are particularly hard-hit here, as the Federal law exempts them, but San Francisco’s Health Care Security Ordinance does not.

Not to worry, says Mayor Lee.

Like many other parts of the Affordable Care Act and upcoming health care reform changes, we will put this in the “Likely to change between now and 2014” file.
UPDATE 8/1/14 – The Usual Suspects has a good collection of related articles on Healthy San Francisco going.
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