Tim Paulson’s Blog: 7/18/11

BOS Chambers

Thank you to everyone who attended the Board of Supervisors Government and Audit Committee hearing last Wednesday. Supervisor David Campos introduced legislation to close a loophole in our 2006 historic San Francisco Health Care Security Ordinance (SFHCSO). This legislation, as you remember, requires all businesses with 20 or more employees to contribute to their workers healthcare. Employers can either buy health insurance, enroll in Healthy San Francisco (public option), or set up a medical savings account.

We have been monitoring this legislation since implementation and are happy that tens of thousands more San Francisco now have access to healthcare. The law works and Nancy Pelosi used it during her campaign to fight for Pelosi-PaulsonHlthCrPressConfthe public option and universal healthcare when she was the Speaker.

Most businesses use insurance plans but, still, $62 million was set aside for health savings accounts in 2010. Sounds good, but we found out that over 80% of that money was never paid out. Over $55 million went back into the pockets of employers.

That’s not right and that was NOT what the legislation was intended to do.

Thank you, Supervisor Campos, for writing legislation that guarantees that the money stays in the accounts so workers have access to the money when they get sick or get into an accident.

Good news! The misguided efforts to split the Recology/Sunset Scavenger contract into five parts and put it out to bid was nipped in the bud as the “organizers” (sic) failed to collect enough signatures for the November ballot. This measure would have jeopardized good union jobs, jeopardized our nation-leading recycling program, and lead to efforts that would’ve wasted a lot of time and money to defeat. The current contract provides many millions of dollars to San Francisco programs which in many ways are more creative than the boilerplate “franchise fee.”  Thank you San Francisco for not trying to fix something that isn’t broken.

Go Brian Wilson! BrianWilsonESPYs

Tim Paulson is the executive director of the San Francisco Labor Council, an organization representing over 100 local unions with a membership of over 100,000 working men and women in San Francisco.

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