Supreme Court asked to kill San Fran employer healthcare mandate

Under a program that began two years ago known as Healthy San Francisco, employers with at least 20 employees there were required to either provide health insurance, offer health spending accounts or pay into a city fund set up by the new regulations.  However, this didn't sit well with many small businesses, who argued that they simply could afford the requirement.

Now, the Golden Gate Restaurant Association has filed a petition asking the U.S. Supreme Court to decide whether such a mandate is legal. The restaurant association argues that these costs are extremely hard for restaurants to pay, noting that two restaurants in Mayor Gavin Newsom's own PlumpJack Group have failed.

In its Supreme Court petition, the association is focusing mainly on a federal law known as the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) that regulates employee benefit programs nationwide, and whether this program conflicts with it.

Newsom, for his part, seems to consider Healthy San Francisco something to boast about. The program, which provides care for 41,000 people, is frequently cited in his run for governor.

To learn more about this debate:
- read this Los Angeles Chronicle article

Related Article:
San Francisco health insurance fight could head to Supreme Court