San Francisco Restaurants: Universal Health Care Not Tasting So Great


San Francisco, America’s favorite guinea pig for public policy, is in the process of developing its own universal health care pool. Business owners aren’t too happy about the excess costs, which they are passing on to customers.

Here’s an excerpt from a January New York Times article on the matter:

Under the law, businesses with more than 20 employees are required to pay a minimum health care contribution of $1.17 to $1.76 an hour for each employee. The fees can go toward a variety of health-care options, including employer-provided insurance, health savings accounts, direct payment of medical bills, or payment in a new city program called Healthy San Francisco.

Some employers, however, say the plan places an undue burden on smaller businesses, many of which are already paying for employee benefits. “It’s expensive, it’s unsustainable and there’s better ways to do it,” said Daniel Scherotter, the incoming president of the Golden Gate Restaurant Association, which filed the suit challenging the law.

Mr. Scherotter, who owns an Italian restaurant in the city, estimates that he already spends $60,000 a year on health insurance, but that the new plan could cost him twice that.

"Everybody seems to know that restaurants are really risky business, but somehow, they’re saying, ‘Oh, they’re rolling in it, they can pay for it,’ ” he said.

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