Sunday, February 16, 2014

Ammiano's Agita From DPH's ACA Plan; TV's the Cure

Remember when Tom Ammiano was a member of the Board of Supervisors and a staunch government transparency advocate? It's been a while since he last took up that issue. Sure would be great to have him rekindle his sunshine interests and push for finally airing the San Francisco health commission's twice-a-month meetings on the City's TV and web platforms. Sunshine is just the antidote to a vexing problem at DPH that has Ammiano very upset.

From Sunday's article by Heather Knight in the Chronicle:

[Ammiano] finds it no laughing matter that Healthy San Francisco, the city's universal health care plan, will continue to be available to undocumented immigrants who don't qualify for health insurance through President Obama's Affordable Care Act but not to U.S. citizens who qualify for it but can't afford it. 

The city's Department of Public Health is telling people in the latter category they have to leave Healthy San Francisco, which means they stand to lose their doctor and primary care doctor, and fulfill the Affordable Care Act's individual mandate that everybody who qualifies buy insurance. [...]

"We knew it would help the undocumented, but we didn't write it just for the undocumented," [Ammiano] said of Healthy San Francisco. "It's really outrageous. ... It's very troubling, and they're betraying the program."

You may recall that I blogged about the Feb. 4 health commission meeting where these very issues were raised and debated, but not seen on SFGovTV because DPH has not been pressured by anyone but me to televise their meetings on the City's extensive TV and streaming platforms.

We need beaucoup sunshine disinfecting how the health commission is making decisions related to Obamacare, Healthy SF and charity care, not to mention quality of services and costs of it all. If we were all able to monitor the commission's hearings, I believe there would be less agita for Ammiano and folks coping with the changing health care insurance landscape.

Ammiano's political protege David Campos could lead the charge to have the commission televise its meetings and the Chronicle asked if he agreed with his mentor:

Supervisor David Campos, who arrived in the United States from Guatemala with his family and without documentation as a 14-year-old, said he's with Ammiano on this one. (No surprise since he's running for Ammiano's state seat.) "I don't think reliance on charity care is good public policy," he said.

I agree with Campos about charity care and wonder why he and Ammiano are not pushing full transparency over the health commission and all of its work. It's time for these two queer politicians to speak up for televising DPH meetings.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hey Michael,
DPH Friday just announced that they will continue to keep people in HSF thru 2014.This is for continuity of care purposes. HSF isn't insurance, of course, and is technically in violation of the ACA. DPH, thru the SF Health Care Reform Task force raised this issue, and DPH, to their credit, stepped up.
Thank you for watching out on this. Thanks for the opportunity to provide an update o this very important issue.
Lee Jewell