WHEREAS, in San Francisco, an estimated 135,000 people, or 17 percent of the City’s population, are uninsured; and,
WHEREAS, in 2001 approximately 6.7 million Californians under age 65 lacked health insurance coverage at some time and 3.6 million had no health insurance coverage at any time; and,
WHEREAS, statewide, more than eight in ten uninsured adults and children are in working families, including half who are in a family with at least one adult employed full-time full-year; and,
WHEREAS, both research and experience tell us that the uninsured have greater difficulty obtaining needed medical care, which often results in lower health status; and,
WHEREAS, expansion of health care coverage improves access to care for, and the health status of, the uninsured; and, WHEREAS, in May 1998 the Mayor’s Blue Ribbon Committee on Universal Health Care issued recommendations for expanding health care coverage to uninsured San Franciscans that were supported by Resolution #23-98 of the Health Commission; and,WHEREAS, in November 1998 the voters of the City and County of San Francisco passed Proposition J, which directs the City to assist the uninsured in obtaining affordable health care coverage; and,
WHEREAS, since passage of Proposition J, the City and County of San Francisco has implemented an incremental approach to achieving universal health care coverage through the Healthy Workers Program in 1999, the Health Care Accountability Ordinance in 2001, and the Healthy Kids Program in 2002; and,
WHEREAS, the Department’s three-year Strategic Plan, adopted by the Health Commission in January 2001, sets for the Department the goal of expanding health care coverage to San Francisco’s uninsured to improve health status and access to care, as well as the goal of increasing health advocacy at the federal, state and local levels; and,
WHEREAS, the California State Association of Counties and the California Association of Public Hospitals and Health Systems, (advocacy groups representing the interests of county health departments, including the Department of Public Health), have each issued guiding principles for health care expansion that would ensure access and quality while retaining an adequate health care safety net to meet the needs of those in California who will continue to be uninsured; and,
WHEREAS, the State Legislature is currently considering a number of bills that would expand access to health care coverage for the uninsured; and,
WHEREAS, the City and County of San Francisco is in support of two health insurance expansion bills currently in the Legislature: SB 921 (Kuehl), which would create a single payer system in California, and SB 2 (Burton-Speier), which would create a “pay or play” system; now, therefore, be it RESOLVED, that the Health Commission of the City and County of San Francisco supports the City’s strong commitment to extending health care coverage to the uninsured; and, be it
FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Health Commission supports the guiding principles on health insurance coverage expansion developed individually by the California State Association of Counties and the California Association of Public Hospitals and Health Systems; and, be it
FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Health Commission urges the Board of Supervisors and the Mayor to use their lobbying resources to actively support the expansion of health care coverage in accordance with these principles; and, be it
FURTHER RESOLVED, in accordance with the Department’s Strategic Plan, that the Health Commission directs the Director of Health to provide the Board of Supervisors and the Mayor’s Office with the information and support they need to effectively advocate to increase access to health care coverage not only for San Franciscans, but for all Californians.
I hereby certify that the San Francisco Health Commission at its meeting of August 19, 2003 adopted the foregoing resolution.
Frances Culp, Acting Executive Secretary to the Health Commission