Thrilling news from my fair town: San Francisco’s Health Access Plan has managed to rope in 743 businesses, with 12,900 employees, before their deadline for enrolment in the City & County’s new mandatory health care scheme.
The San Francisco Health Access Plan promises to bring “universal” health care to our fair city through taxing people without health insurance to empower a public health bureaucracy. (Well, legally they’re taxing the employers, but that’s just semantics, because when the government lays a burden on business, employees are the first to pay, through lower wages).
These 743 businesses have 20 to 49 workers each. Half of these 12,900 employees will be below the income cut-off to get “free” enrolment in SFHAP: that’s 6,450 on top of the 19,000 already enrolled (primarily from firms with over 50 workers each, which had an earlier deadline).
If you’re still with me on the math: We’re now up to 25,450 enrolled in SFHAP, of an estimated uninsured adult population of 73,000 – one third of the eligibles.
How much money has SFHAP got from shaking down the businesses (through the “solidarity fee” or whatever it’s called)? According to the article, $6 million of this year’s $200 million budget – three percent of the budget.
And, did I mention that San Francisco, like California, has a big bomb of a budget deficit before taking SFHAP into account?
It’s beginning to look a lot like Massachusetts (where the revenue is far less and the spending far greater than when the Commonwealth Connector health reform bill was signed in April 2006).