Wednesday, February 05, 2014

Report on Obamacare in San Francisco at DPH Meeting, but . . .

The health commission meeting yesterday, Tuesday, Feb. 4, included a fascinating presentation by two Department of Public Health analysts about universal coverage for all San Francisco citizens, complete with informative PowerPoint slides. Much of the presentation touched on matters related to Affordability Care Act and Healthy SF, small business owners, and our City's most vulnerable citizens.

My post and video from the commission meeting two weeks, where I raised transparency issues, is here.

If you weren't one of the twenty-five or so folks in the department's auditorium at 101 Grove Street, then you're out of luck in terms of learning the crucial facts that were presented and how the roll-out of Obamacare is going and may effect you, or those you care about. DPH continues to resist televising their meetings on SFGovTV various media platforms, either by allocating part of it's $1.6 billion budget to get cameras installed or just walking across the street to City Hall where rooms are equipped to air health commission meetings.

One slide delved into community outreach and I cited the slide during public comment, to say that DPH must start engaging various stakeholders who can't attend Tuesday afternoon meetings via the City's extensive media platforms. Next I praised the two women DPH analysts for their explanations that accompanied the slides and said I'd like to see their presentation repeated, and with cameras in the hearing room.

There were three others who made public remarks and I think employers and working folks would have gained insight hearing their concerns.

I didn't get the chance to speak with the three and urge them to contact Sup. David Campos and Sup. David Chiu and their staffers to take up getting the DPH on SFGovTV, but it sure would be a feather in one of their caps as they pursue an Assembly seat, if they led a charge from City Hall on the matter. Heck, all of the Supervisors in even numbered districts who are up for reelection in November could win a few extra votes pushing televising the meeting as one of their transparency planks.

The draft minutes from the Jan. 21 hearing show that an hour after I made my comments about televising the meetings, when I had already left, commissioner David B. Singer asked for more information regarding the matter. Commission secretary Mark Morewitz said it came up before Singer was appointed by the mayor last year. Commissioner Edward Chow requested that at a future hearing the commission would be presented with options including audio and/or video and the streaming of meetings.

Sunlight equals life. When will SF DPH come into the digital age and use tech tools to bring sunshine to the commission hearings every two weeks?

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