San Francisco implements universal healthcare

Just as with prescription drug programs, municipal governments are taking matters into their own hands to deal with America’s failed healthcare system. From the WSJ Health Blog:

Another local effort to deliver complete health care to everybody is emerging, this time from San Francisco. Later this year, the city will begin offering what it says will be a comprehensive care network for all city residents who have been uninsured for at least 90 days … Care will be free to those below the poverty line, with those who earn more paying quarterly fees between $60 and $675, depending on income …

Officials hope the projected $200 million cost will be at least partly offset by getting more people in for regular care, preventing many of the expensive emergency room visits and hospital stays that the city already subsidizes for the poor and uninsured.

“We had a system that was not a system, and was based on episodic visits for chronic and acute care,” [said] Mitchell H. Katz, the city health director. “The idea that you should come get a cholesterol test, that didn’t happen.”

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