Rice-A-Roni may be the San Francisco treat, but health reform has been the topic du jour of late for the Bay City. As the San Francisco Chronicle noted, yesterday marked the one-year anniversary of Healthy San Francisco—the city’s ambitious plan to make health care accessible and affordable to its uninsured residents.
Like a cable car descending Nob Hill, there have been a few bumps along the way—the growing pains health reform—as well as uncertaintity because of a pending decision from the Ninth Circuit regarding the legality of the city’s efforts. Still, the plan is an innovative effort from one of the cities described in a recent Families USA report as being on the front lines of America’s health care crisis.
The key elements of San Francisco’s plan are laid out nicely here, but we’d like to highlight two points from the initiative:
- An emphasis on medical homes in which a participant chooses one of 27 participating clinics to coordinate their care.
- Shared and individual responsibility represented by income-based cost-sharing on the part of individuals and an employer contribution for firms with more than 20 employees.
New America health policy program director Len Nichols provided a positive and realistic assessment of the plan for the Chronicle article:
For a city to try to do it at all is pretty amazing. Ultimately, we're going to need federal help to make health care access a reality in this nation, and it's impressive San Francisco is trying to do it in whatever patchwork way they can.