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The City's Health Care Plan, From the Diners' Standpoint

Until now, much of the discussion about Gavin Newsom's universal health care plan—dubbed controversial and/or revolutionary, depending on who you talk to—has centered around the industry itself, from the Golden Gate Restaurant Association's war against the City Hall suits to the reactions from restaurateurs and staffers. But what impact would the resolution have had on diners? The Chronicle's John Graham has a few answers and suppositions:

San Francisco's Health Access Plan, which would have laid a payroll tax of $1.17 to $1.76 per hour per worker on businesses that do not offer health benefits, on top of a minimum wage of $9.36. There's no way the government can force a restaurateur or small retailer to pay his entry-level workers an effective minimum wage of $10.53 an hour without the increased cost showing up on the menu or clothing tag.

Many more details on the health care plan can be had in the whole article, obviously, but here's Graham's simple solution:

The solution to San Francisco's health crisis is not more taxes and government bureaucracy that make life more expensive for everyone - and not just those who like to dine out. The solution is to give money and power back to the patients who need it.
Other updates from the health care front include Mayor PlumpJack's inaugural address avowal that he will continue to pursue the plan, and on a slightly more gossipy note, an inside source tells us that the Golden Gate Restaurant Association was—and we quote—"reamed a new one" in the court proceedings last week.
· Healthy San Francisco raises costs for everyone [Chron]
· Health Care Debate: The Industry Reaction [~ESF~]
· IndustryWire: Restaurant Association Foils Health Care [~ESF~]

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