When President Obama's federal health care reforms finally kick in starting in 2014, it won't totally eliminate the need for San Francisco's city-wide universal health care coverage program, the Examiner reports today. According to projections from folks at HealthySF, the program could lose around 60 percent of patients it currently covers, which is not actually a bad thing - as it would alleviate a great deal of the program's cost to the city. Still, nearly 70,000 other San Franciscans will still be left without health care coverage under the President's health care bill.
According to a task force set up by Gavin Newsom to integrate HealthySF with the forthcoming changes, the city's program currently covers roughly 55,000 residents at a cost of $140 million a year, $100 Million of which comes from the city's general fund. If those 60% of HealthySF patients become eligible for MediCal or state-provided insurance, they will be dropped by the HealthySF program and fewer HealthySF patients means a lower cost to the city. Of course, there's always the chance some conspiratorial Republicans could completely railroad the Obama reforms before they take effect in 2014, but for now the HealthySF task force is moving forward with the legislation that passed last year.