Health care for the uninsured

TEXT OF STORY

MARK AUSTIN THOMAS: The uninsured living in San Francisco just got a big "shot in the arm." The city's Board of Supervisors have agreed to let them buy into the public health system. Rachel Dornhelm explains how it will work.


RACHEL DORNHELM: The program would cost about $200 million a year if every uninsured person in San Francisco enrolls.

The city already pays half that caring for the uninsured. The rest would come from sliding scale premiums and businesses.

Those companies that don't offer approved levels of health care would pay into a pot.

Jim Lazarus with the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce says that's not fair.

JIM LAZARUS: It's not related to the income of the business and the business' ability to pay. It's assuming that all businesses have enough money unspent to cover the mandate.

Midsize companies, for example, would be required to set aside about a dollar an hour per worker.

Lazarus says he expects a court challenge to this fee before the plan takes effect next July.

I'm Rachel Dornhelm for Marketplace.

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