It's been a while since the health care controversy has made any waves, but here comes a tsunami. After months of deliberation, at long last, the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has made a decision and rejected the appeals brought forth by the Golden Gate Restaurant Association, meaning that Healthy SF, San Francisco's universal health care program can continue to operate:
The Healthy San Francisco program that requires employers to pay into a fund used to provide healthcare to uninsured city residents does not violate federal law ... The decision by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals overturns a lower court ruling that the program places an undue burden on struggling businesses.The ruling, obviously, is a major victory—landmark, even—for the City, Gavin Newsom and the entire health care reform effort ... but at the same time, probably the last thing that restaurant owners want to hear in these already-tough times.
According to our sources, whatever happens next is probably up to the GGRA. The restaurant association has to decide if they want to appeal to the full federal Ninth Circuit or directly to the US Supreme Court. Either way, the Employer Spending Requirement and the City Option will continue to operate until any appeal is heard and decided, which as we've seen, could take months and months. Reactions are surely en route from the involved parties. Stay tuned...
· SF Health Plan Does Not Violate Federal Law [KCBS]
· All Healthy SF Coverage [~ESF~]