Competing SF health care law amendment up for vote at Board of Supervisors hearing 

The latest development battle over amending San Francisco’s landmark 2006 Health Security Ordinance is a Thursday hearing of Board of Supervisors Government Audit and Oversight Committee. The committee will vote on Board of Supervisors President David Chiu’s counter proposal to Supervisor David Campos’ proposal, which has raised the ire of business advocates and could become Mayor Ed Lee’s first veto since being appointed mayor in January.

What has prompted the debate is hundreds of employers comply with The City’s law by using medical reimbursement accounts for their workers. Employers must spend a minimum amount on workers’ health costs. But every year the employers take back the money in the unused money in the accounts. A city report found that in 2010, 80 percent of medical reimbursement account funds – or $50.1 million — were not spent on employees’ medical costs, but instead returned to employers.

Chiu’s proposal is a counter to Campos’ and one that the business community says it could live with. Among the key differences between the Campos and the Chiu proposal is that Chiu’s would require employers keep a year’s worth of medical contributions at any given time, while Campos would require the funds to accumulate in the accounts year after year.

The Board of Supervisors Government Audit and Oversight Committee meets Thursday at 10 a.m. at City Hall in Room 263.

Meanwhile, the Board of Supervisors is scheduled to take a second and final vote Tuesday on Campos’ legislation. If approved as expected, Lee would have 10 days, until Oct. 28, to issue a veto.

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