Golden Gate Restaurant Association Rejects San Francisco’s Offer To Drop Lawsuit
The Golden Gate Restaurant Association has refused to drop its lawsuit against the city of San Francisco involving the city's Healthy San Francisco program, the San Francisco Chronicle reports (Knight, San Francisco Chronicle, 4/29). In the lawsuit, GGRA claims that the program violates the federal Employee Retirement Income Security Act, which pre-empts certain state and local government requirements regarding employer-sponsored benefits.
Healthy San Francisco was approved in 2006 to provide access to health care services at city clinics and public hospitals for the city's uninsured residents. The program requires private companies with at least 20 employees and not-for-profit groups with at least 50 employees to either provide health care benefits to workers at a cost that meets minimum spending levels or help cover the cost of Healthy San Francisco (Kaiser Daily Health Policy Report, 3/31).
San Francisco Public Health Chief Mitch Katz last week offered to freeze the employer contribution rates to the program if GGRA would drop the lawsuit. However, GGRA Director Kevin Westlye said that the board rejected the offer in part because Katz could not guarantee how long the freeze would be in effect. Katz said he was open to discussing a permanent freeze (San Francisco Chronicle, 4/29).