No. 04-01

Supporting Achievement of Universal Health Care  and Expanding Health Care Coverage To Uninsured Children and Youth

WHEREAS, there are an estimated 135,000 uninsured San Francisco residents, and 9,245 are estimated to be children and youth; and,

WHEREAS, uninsured residents lack a usual source of care, must navigate a complex, fragmented health care delivery system and when they do seek services, their ailments are often more advanced and more difficult to treat; and,

WHEREAS, costly health care premiums are the principal reason why many employers, particularly small employers, do not offer health care coverage and why many low-income working people cannot afford coverage on their own; and,

WHEREAS, the City and County of San Francisco have taken the following steps to expand health care coverage since the passage of Proposition J in November 1998:  (1) expanded health care coverage to In-Home Support Services (IHSS) workers, (2) launched a pilot program to offer health insurance to low-income child care providers, and (3) drafted a proposed health insurance coverage component to the Minimum Compensation Ordinance; and,

WHEREAS, expanding health care coverage to San Francisco’s uninsured is identified as a strategy for the Department to pursue as part of the approved Strategic Plan; and,

WHEREAS, an incremental approach to achieving universal health care coverage allows the City and County to appropriately identify the financial resources and specific issues necessary to expand coverage to each uninsured population; and,

WHEREAS, developing a health insurance program for uninsured children is a next step to expanding health care coverage and achieving universal health care; and,

WHEREAS, children have no way of obtaining health insurance on their own, and successfully providing coverage to children could be a necessary step to providing coverage to their uninsured parents; and,

WHEREAS, an investment in health care for children is an investment in prevention since health care for children consists primarily of immunizations, anticipatory guidance, and preventive dental care; and,

WHEREAS, to minimize confusion for parents, any locally developed program for children should mirror the State’s Healthy Families program; now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED, that the San Francisco Health Commission endorses an incremental approach to achieving universal health care; and, be it

FURTHER RESOLVED, that the San Francisco Health Commission advocates for sufficient funding to conduct outreach and education to enroll eligible children and families into State and/or Federally-funded health insurance programs, such as Medi-Cal, Healthy Families and Access to Infants and Mothers; and, be it

FURTHER RESOLVED, that the San Francisco Health Commission instructs the Department of Public Health to: (1) develop an insurance program to provide health care coverage to uninsured children ages 0 – 18 years who are ineligible for State and Federally funded health insurance, and have family incomes below 300% of the Federal poverty level, (2) conduct outreach and education for this local program, (3) provide health care coverage to uninsured children through the San Francisco Health Plan, and (4) pursue available sources of funding.

I hereby certify that the Health Commission at its meeting of January 30, 2001 adopted the foregoing resolution.

Sandy Ouye Mori, Executive Secretary to the Health Commission