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Thursday, January 10, 2008

SF Restaurants: We'll Pay For Health Insurance But We Sure As Hell Won't Like It

Posted By on Thu, Jan 10, 2008 at 2:45 PM

Eater SF today gathers the fallout over San Francisco's fledgling health care plan requiring employers to foot part of the bill for their employees. Of course this affects restaurants big time because historically most of them (for shame!) haven't offered coverage, which sort of boggles the mind. Though the plan's been tossing around for some time now, Wednesday things came to a head when a federal appeals court rubber-stamped the ordinance, putting the kibosh on a previous ruling that had overturned the part requiring bosses to pony up.

As expected, the restaurants are not happy about it. The Golden Gate Restaurant Association has been fighting it in court and at least one chef/owner told the Chron that he'd have to lay off workers and raise prices in order to comply. According to City Attorney Dennis Herrera about 90 percent of San Francisco employers already provide health care to workers, so the message is clear: get with the program restaurants! Cooks and waiters need health care just as badly as anybody else, if not worse. Granted, my beautiful significant other is a cook so I see the burns, cuts and bruises, the aching feet, the oncoming Carpal Tunnel and back problems on a daily basis and guess what? The average office worker doesn't face these kinds of health hazards, yet most have health insurance. That ain't right.

Still, it's not like the restaurants are the villains in this story. They already face the difficult-to-impossible financial plight of running a restaurant. Perhaps the GGRA's proposal of a quarter-cent increase in the local sales tax is a possible solution. No doubt this isn't the last we'll hear of this story, not by a damn sight.

And finally, for your viewing horror, above you'll find the Canadian PSA to bring all this health insurance talk into context. View at your own risk.

(via Eater SF)

-- Brian Bernbaum

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