Tipping your waiter health coverage

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Here’s another example of a restaurant passing on the cost of Healthy San Francisco to its patrons. The lady and I had brunch at the Slow Club in the Mission on Saturday and this is our bill. Healthy San Francisco is the program created by Sup. Tom Ammiano to reach the more than 73,000 uninsured San Franciscans with a reasonably inexpensive form of health insurance.

The program is tied up in federal court right now because restaurants have sued arguing that it’s illegal for local governments to require employers to fund health insurance for their employees, which Healthy San Francisco does. About 19,000 San Franciscans had already signed up for the plan by last week and on Wednesday about 13,000 more were added as local businesses met a deadline for registering with the program.

Part of the idea is that without insuring more Americans, you and I pay for it each time someone who lacks coverage ends up making a costly emergency room visit at a public hospital with a preventable disease, illness or injury because they couldn’t access advance treatment, mental health assistance or any other type of care before they reached a tipping point. This program might actually prove that if the government extends coverage to more people who haven't traditionally received it, we may all save money in the end.

For now, you're stuck with the bill while the restaurant industry sues to ignore the true cost of our robust local economy.

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