Newsom asks Health Access Council study of expanded
Mayor Gavin Newsom. (File photo)
By Pat Murphy
December 21, 2005, 10:00 p.m.
Mayor Newsom today called for creation of a Health Access Council
to explore increased health care coverage for small business workers.
The action came in response to legislation
proposed by Supervisor Tom Ammiano requiring health insurance
for employees of businesses with 20 or more workers.
Tom Ammiano announces health care ordinance legislation
on the steps of City Hall, November 22.
Members of the Small Business Commission, and some small business
the Ammiano measure was drafted without their participation.
In a letter to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, Newsom
asked the council be inclusive of "elected officials, health
care experts, community health advocates, and local business and
non-profit leaders to explore approaches to increased health care
He charged the council with completing the study in four months.
"Within four months, this council will review current and
proposed initiatives - including this legislation and proposals
to expand health care access from the CEO of the San Francisco
Health Plan and the Director of Public Health - and work to identify
effective initiatives to expand health care acces.
"This body would provide broadly representative input on
the issue and, in addition to the Health Commission and Health
Services Board, allow for an inclusive and collaborative policy
development to occur.
"I believe these actions are necessary to foster both an
inclusive and productive dialogue aimed at expanding health care
in San Francisco."
Newsom commended Ammiano for leadership on the issue.
"I commend Supervisor Ammiano's leadership advancing the
public conversation on health care access and look forward to
conversations on this public issue in the coming weeks and months,"
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