Obama Administration Silent On San Francisco Health Insurance Ordinance

"As the U.S. Supreme Court prepares to consider a restaurant group's challenge to San Francisco's health coverage ordinance, one voice is noticeably silent: the Obama administration's," The San Francisco Chronicle reports. "In contrast to President George W. Bush's Labor Department, which unsuccessfully urged a federal appeals court to overturn the groundbreaking law, the new administration submitted no arguments before the July 10 deadline for briefs supporting or opposing Supreme Court review. President Obama, meanwhile, has praised the San Francisco program, the first of its kind in the nation, while pressing Congress to enact comprehensive health coverage."

San Francisco's "3-year-old program offers care to 73,000 uninsured adults not covered by the Medi-Cal program for the poor or Medicare for the elderly at a network of hospitals and clinics in San Francisco. More than 80 percent of the $200 million annual cost will come from state and local taxes and payment from patients, based on their incomes. The restaurant association's lawsuit challenges the city's authority to require large and midsize companies to pay the rest of the bill"  (Egelko, 7/20).

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