Obama Administration Sides With City In San Francisco Lawsuit

San Francisco Chronicle: "The Obama administration took San Francisco's side Friday in a legal dispute over the city's groundbreaking health coverage law, urging the Supreme Court to reject an appeal by restaurant owners who objected to paying part of the cost. In a long-awaited filing, government lawyers said passage of national health insurance legislation 'has dramatically changed the landscape' and reduced the likelihood that cities and states would adopt laws like San Francisco's. The case presents no pressing issues that require the court's review, the lawyers said."

Restaurant owners had earlier argued that the a requirement that firms pay a set amount towards employee health insurance or contribute the same amount to the city's health program for their care violates the federal government's authority to regulate employee benefits packages. The Obama administration's view is that the city's law doesn't require employers to offer specific benefits, and is therefore not a violation (Egelko, 5/29).

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