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Courts Uphold Health Care Plan; Restaurants to Pony Up

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Yesterday, a federal appeals court approved the controversial city ordinance requiring employers to help pay for the health care of uninsured residents. Of course, the primary opponent of the measure has been the Golden Gate Restaurant Association throughout, as restaurants—already subject to increasing costs elsewhere—are now primed take a big hit, at least in theory. In the wake of the ruling, here's what people are saying:

1) Dan Scherotter, chef/owner of Palio D'Asti, in the Chron: "Dan Scherotter, the association's incoming president, said the restaurants were disappointed but would comply with the ruling and remained confident of winning after the court hears all the evidence ... [He] said he and other restaurant owners would have to lay off employees and raise prices to comply with the ordinance. He said he now provides insurance for most of his 65 employees, but not at the levels mandated by the city." [Chron]

2) From a tipster: "What isn't clear in the SFGate article is the following: The program is still only for those below 300% of the federal poverty level, unless you are an employee of an organization putting money into the program. If that is the case you can enroll regardless of your income level. The press is spinning this a bit differently and it has already caused confusion with those people calling into 3-1-1 asking questions about it. And employers can only begin enrolling in this as of January 16th because that is when the infrastructure to support this ruling will be ready." [Eater Inbox]

3) Mayor Gavin Newsom's Official Statement: "Here in San Francisco, we have already extended the fundamental right of healthcare to 7,932 people through our Healthy San Francisco program. And this year we will offer this blessing of quality health access to roughly 40,000 more San Franciscans. Today's ruling is an important victory for uninsured San Franciscans. We're glad that the courts believe that we can prevail based on the merits of our case." [Eater Inbox]
· The City's Health Care Plan, From the Diners' Standpoint [~ESF~]
· Health Care Debate: The Industry Reaction [~ESF~]
· IndustryWire: Restaurant Association Foils Health Care [~ESF~]

This is said to be a groundbreaking decision, so let's hear those reactions, people. Industry folk are especially encouraged to share their thoughts, in the comments field or directly to the Health Care Hotline.

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