Prop. B will save healthcare

Even with contributions required by Prop. B, city employees will receive a benefit package that is unparalleled in the private sector

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By Jeff Adachi and Jim Illig

Editors note: Last week we ran an op-ed by Assemblymember Tom Ammiano opposing Proposition B. Public Defender Jeff Adachi asked for space to respond. His position follows.

OPINION San Francisco prides itself on the excellent health care services it provides to its residents. Per capita, San Francisco provides better quality healthcare to its poorest and most vulnerable residents than any other city in our state. Our city's Healthy San Francisco program, which provides low- cost access to healthcare for all uninsured residents, has been heralded as a model program nationwide.

But the healthcare system that serves the city's employees is teetering on the brink of insolvency. This year, the city will spend $456 million for healthcare costs for 26,000 city employees, and 28,000 retirees and their 47,000 dependents. According to the Controller's Office, the city's health system has an unfunded liability of $4 billion — meaning that it has made $4 billion in promised coverage to city employees and their dependents that it doesn't have the money to pay for.

That's a major reason why two city departments that serve the poorest residents, the Public Defender and Public Health, must cut millions of dollars of essential services each year, to save the city's General Fund for growing employee healthcare and pension costs.

Currently most city employees contribute nothing for their own healthcare. Taxpayers subsidize the entire cost, which runs between $2,890 and $5,560 per year for each employee. Proposition B would change this by requiring that an employee insured under the basic health plan pay just $96 a year ($8 a month) for their healthcare. Under Prop. B, city employees would still pay 22 times less than private sector employees, who pay an average of $2,185 per year for their health insurance.

City employees with dependents currently pay $8 a month. Under Prop. B, they would pay $2,988 per year. Private sector employees with dependents pay an average of $7,026 a year. And this doesn't include the 31 percent of San Franciscans who do not receive employer-paid health care costs and pay the entire cost themselves.

Opponents of Prop. B claim that city workers cannot afford to pay the health benefits if Prop B. passes. Their argument ignores the fact that the average San Francisco city employee earns $93,000 a year in salary alone, excluding benefits, while the average private sector salary is $46,000.

They also argue that "a single mother will be forced to pay up to $5,600 per year for her child's health care — in addition to the $8,154 she already pays."

First, this is not true. A city employee with two dependents only pays a total of $448 a month for full health coverage. Only if the city employee chooses the most expensive health plan, which costs $31,645, would the employee have to pay $19,561 a year under Prop. B instead of the $16,922, which he or she now pays.

Even with contributions required by Prop. B, city employees will receive a benefit package that is unparalleled in the private sector. Even more important, the city's healthcare fund will be made more sustainable by ensuring that the funding for the city's healthcare program doesn't run dry when the city can no longer afford to pay these costs.

According to the Controller's ballot statement, Prop. B would save the city $121 million annually. Some of these funds could be used to prevent the devastating cuts to the city's mental health, substance abuse, and other community health programs for poverty-stricken adults and children who do not have healthcare coverage.

Voting yes on Prop. B is an antidote to continuing cuts to healthcare for the poorest San Franciscans. *

Comments

Thank you for sticking up for the poorest among us who have no voice in this town.

Unfortunately people are allergic to math around these parts...

Posted by CJFlowers on Sep. 28, 2010 @ 8:05 pm

Adachi and Prop B are funded by Michael Moritz and Warren Hellmen two Billionaires. Prop B is going to hurt the lowest paid working people in the city and it's going to force more families to go to the emergency room for healthcare because they can't afford real coverage. School teachers will be paying over $750 a month for coverage on Kaiser if Prop B passes.

Posted by Guest on Sep. 30, 2010 @ 7:14 pm

i am working @ sfgh. I'm sinlge but i'm paying $4.44 evry paystubs for my kaiser health insurance. Prop b is not pass yet what more if it did, i don't want to serve the city&county hospital if I cannot afford for paying my health insurance,mortgage,taxes and retirement plan. I will be ending up begging help from the city/goverment to support me.And we work hard to serve underprivelage people inorder for us to work more and be healthy we deserve a greater benefits because we are FRONTLINERS for everybody's safe.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 16, 2010 @ 2:09 pm

Maybe I am reading your post wrong - but you're telling us you'll have to beg for health care if someone makes you pay more than $9 a month...? (Is this post for real?)

Boy- some City employees are a piece of work.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 16, 2010 @ 4:45 pm

"A city employee with two dependents only pays a total of $448 a month for full health coverage. "

This is not true for all of the unions. You keep using this figure, but for teachers it will be $750 under Prop B. They already pay over the private sector average you cite, although a study by UC Berkeley puts the average private sector employee contributions for family care at $5,184, not over $7K. A nine-year teacher has a salary of $61K. The $93,000 is an average you use to stoke outrage, but there are many who make way less than this. We did our budget just before I found out about this, and we had $1.98 left over after the furloughs and regular yearly premium increases for health care. This is with no saving for college or retirement, outside the state teacher's pension which replaces social security. I know others are hurting too and there are many in both private and public sector having difficulties paying the bills, but I just want people to know that the idea of this fat cat government employee is a myth. It does not represent even most of the workers, and you WILL be hurting working families even though you claim the opposition is making us up.

Why didn't you craft a better proposition that defends the lower earners (you are supposed to be a public defender after all), or bring the unions/employees to the table? And the answer you gave in the Forest Hill debate was lame--because you didn't think you'd get anywhere if you tried that approach? I'm an employer and would never foist this kind of "reform" on our employee without asking for ideas and/or concessions first. For this reason alone, Prop B should be voted down and another solution sought.

Posted by Familygal on Sep. 28, 2010 @ 8:34 pm

"....Why didn't you bring the unions/employees to the table? And the answer you gave in the Forest Hill debate was lame--because you didn't think you'd get anywhere if you tried that approach? I'm an employer and would never foist this kind of "reform" on our employee without asking for ideas and/or concessions first. For this reason alone, Prop B should be voted down and another solution sought."

Of all the criticisms of Adachi and Prop B I have read, I am going to call this the most nonsensical- not singling you out as others have written the same thing.

Take for example the rising employee pension cost problem. We have aready brought everyone to the table; employee unions, the BOS and the Mayor's office and the end result was Prop D passed in June of this year. So total pension costs are rising an average of $100 million a year over the next five years...and how much does Prop D generate in pension cost savings?? Prop D doesn't even generate $10 million in pension cost savings until after 2020. As SF residents, we waited for unions/elected officials to address the problem in a significant way and they did not. (As a matter of fact Elsbernd originally proposed Prop D and dropped his support when the unions gutted it.)

Take the problem of rising employee health care benefit costs- same thing. The City passes Prop B in 2008 and the $4 billion unfunded health benefit liability Adachi references is still rising....

Posted by CJFlowers on Sep. 28, 2010 @ 9:59 pm

Prop D did not address health care if I remember correctly. Prob B is being billed as pension reform, but is really about health care. I don't think the unions were brought to the table about health care; at least the teachers weren't.

"As SF residents, we waited for unions/elected officials to address the problem in a significant way and they did not."

Yes, I understand from all of your posts that you, Adachi and others see yourselves heroes of the people. But the workers themselves (the people) were not asked for any ideas or solutions or for permission. You can put some of the blame on the union leaders for that I know. But I don't think you understand employee management or human nature if you think solving a problem by having one group of voters take away rights and contracted benefits from another is a good way to solve a problem. It creates ill will and the kinds of counter-attacks you've seen. It divides the city. It is not brave or heroic, it's just stupid.

This is how it makes me want to react: The next time my husband spends his Saturday morning researching therapies for a brain development disorder to help the son of an angry taxpayer, I'm going to tell him to stop and only work the hours he's required to by his union contract. Although I wouldn't do it, because an innocent child would suffer. However, I'm tired of the attacks, the demonization and blame for budgetary problems created by a downturn in the economy.

Posted by Familygal on Sep. 29, 2010 @ 2:15 pm

familygal you are absolutely right about what you have stated. For Jeff Adachi, the money he so-called saves the city will eventually go to his corrupted friends and his office. for the people, Jeff you make 200K, please save your lies.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 25, 2010 @ 10:06 pm

Let's go through these one at a time- you post is pretty good and merits a response:

"Prob B is being billed as pension reform, but is really about health care."

The pension side generates $38 million in savings which is larger than any single revenue raising measure on the ballot. You want to tell us that's insignificant. I'll call that comment dishonest.

"But the workers themselves (the people) were not asked for any ideas or solutions or for permission."

You apparently don't know the history of Prop D passed in June 2010. It was originally drafted by Elsbernd. He took it to "the people"/union reps. They gutted it. Elsbernd pulled his support. Prop D subsequently passed and doesn't save anything for 20 years After this experience, you expected Adachi to go to the people again. (He consulted with Elsbernd first.) He would have been rebuffed/had his amendment gutted as well- it is naive to think otherwise.

"But I don't think you understand employee management or human nature if you think solving a problem by having one group of voters take away rights and contracted benefits."

Which "contracted benefits" are being taken away? I don't think you understand Prop B which honors every single collective bargaining agreement out there. Did you post as such when a measure was put on the ballot to set the floor of Muni operator pay at the average of the two highest paid operators in the land?? (In other words, the Muni measure took the terms for salary off the table like Prop B takes the terms for health care premiums off the table.) I get it - ballot measures can only be used as a vehicle to increase union pay and benefits, never to decrease or impose a correction. That's a sunny outlook- I'll give you that.

..."blame for budgetary problems created by a downturn in the economy."

This is my favorite. Up until a couple of years ago, the City was giving lifetime health care to anyone who worked for the City for five years, a benefit that was nothing short of insane. Now the City has an unfunded health care liability of $5 billion and climbing but this problem was created by a downturn in the economy. Wow. But again when the economy was goin good the union loaded up the benefits via multiple ballot measures but when there is a downturn, don't even think about a correction, it's only up, up, up...

Peace.

Posted by CJ Flowers on Oct. 25, 2010 @ 11:47 pm

Thanks Jeff Adachi. You are showing true leadership. As for family gal, the reason he didn't go to the unions was because it would have been a futile endeavor. Last year, one of the unions asked for a pay RAISE to offset their pension contribution under prop D, which would have RAISED the pension costs.

Also, it was a class act for the SFBG to give equal space to Adachi to post his Op Ed in response to Ammiano's Op Ed.

The City has a math problem. And Adachi is at least trying to address it.

Posted by Cas on Sep. 28, 2010 @ 9:45 pm

Good point. I too, am impressed the SFBG allowed an Adachi response. Kudos for that.

Posted by CJFlowers on Sep. 28, 2010 @ 10:04 pm

Cas....SFBG had to b law let Adachi respond to the other op ed. I'm surpised that they didnt do theses article in reverse...

As far as this prob goes...I dont see to many janitors or other SEIU people making that much money. So yeah they are going to get hit the hardest.

Adachi has grown his own budget at the Defenders office with little regard to the budget. This guy is a politician on the same level as Chris Daly.

Posted by Guest on Sep. 29, 2010 @ 4:30 pm

I'm all for reform and having city employees pay more for their benefits, but the problem I see is that the city of SF will just take that money they saved from city employees and give it to drug addicts, homeless drunks, or any other people that wants a free handout.

Do city employees deserve what they currently have? I don't know. I work and live in SF, and don't take any gov't subsidies. I work for a living, and work for what I get, and what I have. I grew up in a household where it is understood that nothing is free and you need to work for what you want.

As of now, I see cops drive and walk around my neighborhood, I hear firetrucks with their annoying sirens going to, what I assume is an emergency, I see MUNI buses picking up and dropping off passengers, I know teachers are going to work everyday and teaching kids, I don't hear anything bad about being seen at SF General Hospital besides the waiting, etc...

From what I see, it looks like they make way too much for what they do, but at least they do something for what they make.

Reform...YES!

Taking that money from people who actually work and giving it to people who CHOOSE not to work and are content with recieving subsidies on SF taxpayers money... ABSOLUTLY NO!!!

If your going to take money out of the pocket of city employees, make sure it goes to the right cause.

IS PROP B GOING TO IMPROVE THE QUALITY OF LIFE FOR THE WORKING SAN FRANCISCIAN? OR IS IT JUST ANOTHER PLOY TO HELP OUT THE DEAD BEATS, CRIMINALS, AND USELESS WASTE WE HAVE EVERYWHERE IN THIS CITY? This is what I'm going to look into before voting, and I think everyone else should too.

Posted by MrSFjunkie on Sep. 29, 2010 @ 1:07 am

The money will definitely be funneled back to the City's defenders office. Mr Adachi himself.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 25, 2010 @ 10:08 pm

I'm all for reform and having city employees pay more for their benefits, but the problem I see is that the city of SF will just take that money they saved from city employees and give it to drug addicts, homeless drunks, or any other people that wants a free handout.

Do city employees deserve what they currently have? I don't know. I work and live in SF, and don't take any gov't subsidies. I work for a living, and work for what I get, and what I have. I grew up in a household where it is understood that nothing is free and you need to work for what you want.

As of now, I see cops drive and walk around my neighborhood, I hear firetrucks with their annoying sirens going to, what I assume is an emergency, I see MUNI buses picking up and dropping off passengers, I know teachers are going to work everyday and teaching kids, I don't hear anything bad about being seen at SF General Hospital besides the waiting, etc...

From what I see, it looks like they make way too much for what they do, but at least they do something for what they make.

Reform...YES!

Taking that money from people who actually work and giving it to people who CHOOSE not to work and are content with recieving subsidies on SF taxpayers money... ABSOLUTLY NO!!!

If your going to take money out of the pocket of city employees, make sure it goes to the right cause.

IS PROP B GOING TO IMPROVE THE QUALITY OF LIFE FOR THE WORKING SAN FRANCISCIAN? OR IS IT JUST ANOTHER PLOY TO HELP OUT THE DEAD BEATS, CRIMINALS, AND USELESS WASTE WE HAVE EVERYWHERE IN THIS CITY? This is what I'm going to look into before voting, and I think everyone else should too.

Posted by MrSFjunkie on Sep. 29, 2010 @ 1:08 am

Why the fuck is the SFBG giving air time to class warriors?

Isn't the SF Examiner supposed to play this role?

Makes me pine for one of Steven T. Jones' Burning Man rants.

Pa fucking thetic.

-marc

Posted by marcos on Sep. 29, 2010 @ 7:28 am

It's called civility, Marc. Offering rebuttal space and equal time for opposing arguments.

Thank you for posting Jeff Adachi's reasoned response.

Posted by Barton on Sep. 29, 2010 @ 8:08 am

I am a City Employee and make no where close to $93,000! I already live paycheck to paycheck and can barely afford rent here in San Francisco. It's already tough due to the fact that I had to take a paycut this past July, because of the budget deficit. VOTE NO ON PROP B!

Posted by Guest on Sep. 29, 2010 @ 10:05 pm

I am a City Employee and make no where close to $93,000! I already live paycheck to paycheck and can barely afford rent here in San Francisco. It's already tough due to the fact that I had to take a paycut this past July, because of the budget deficit. VOTE NO ON PROP B!

Posted by Guest on Sep. 29, 2010 @ 10:06 pm

I am uncertain as to where Mr Adachi is getting his numbers but the truth is my numbers don't lie and Mr Adachi is. As a registered nurse, the cost of my dependent health care is almost triple to an unaffordable rate of close to $1100/month. Who in the private sector pays that much for kids? and for a HMO?
Vote NO on B.. it's Bad Medicine for San Francisco's working families.

Posted by Registered Nurses on Sep. 30, 2010 @ 12:35 pm

All you city employees need to get off the public welfare system and find a private sector job.

I have no duty or desire to fund your family's health care.

I fund my own 100%.

So should you.

I vote YES for Prop B.

I vote YES for any Prop that eliminates ALL benefits and just pays salary with performance evaluations.

Our government needs to be solvent and small.

Posted by Guest on Sep. 30, 2010 @ 7:04 pm

And who exactly is going to provide you all the public services you use every day? Public roads, clean tap water, the ability to flush your toilet, parks, library's, etc? The private sector pays more money than the public sector every including benefits. Get your facts straight.

"total compensation is 6.8 percent lower for state employees and 7.4 percent lower for local employees than for comparable private sector employees."

Read more here: http://www.slge.org/index.asp?Type=B_BASIC&SEC={22748FDE-C3B8-4E10-83D0-959386E5C1A4}&DE={BD1EB9E6-79DA-42C7-A47E-5D4FA1280C0B}

Posted by Guest on Sep. 30, 2010 @ 7:20 pm

"I have no duty or desire to fund your family's health care."

Thank you for validating my opinion that this is the main motivation behind Prop B. Not some altruistic desire to "save the services for the poor." i hope that Guest @7:04 pm is not an employer; if so...he's the kind that put this country in the mess it's in. Unfortunately, it's the system in our country for employers to offer access to health care. If you are paying 100% of your premiums because your employer doesn't, then he or she or they are the problem. If you're self-employed, well then you're the employer so the burden falls on you. There's no way most people could afford to pay it all and still pay rent and buy food. if you are funding it for an entire family, you must be very well off, which would also affirm your character. It's often the wealthiest who are the greediest and most unwilling to be part of a public society.

Many of the city's services are actually the PEOPLE themselves. People who run the libraries, maintain the parks, roads, treat people in clinics & hospital. The city is an employer.

Posted by Validated on Sep. 30, 2010 @ 8:46 pm

then nurse yourself

Posted by Guest on Oct. 16, 2010 @ 2:15 pm

Jeff Adachi told me you were a homo.

Posted by Guest on Mar. 15, 2011 @ 3:34 pm

Here's a link to an article on the debate between Jeff Adachi and labor leader Tim Paulson in West Twin Peaks:
http://www.calwatchdog.com/2010/09/28/san-fran-is-pension-ground-zero/

Posted by Guest on Sep. 30, 2010 @ 10:09 pm

Propostion B will not do what its endorsers claim. As a Nurse Practitioner with the City and County of San Franiciso for over 15 years, I find Adachi's comments disengenious and inconsistent with past measures, like "Care Not Cash" which did not help our homeless situation in the least. Both measures slashed benefits in an effort to fund city services. But, these measures as written, DID NOT and DO NOT directly ear-mark the money taken for services. Could they have. Yes! But, the people who wrote the measures chose to put money from slashing GA in the case of "Care not Cash" and in Proposition B, into the general fund for the Mayor and the BOS to use as they see fit. The next Mayor could use the money to hire more consultants, more administrators, out-source jobs and do just about everything not to fund services.
This measure will only add more pain and suffering, especially to the lowest paid workers that Mr. Adachi seems to ignore by continuing to say that everybody earns an average of 93, 000 a year which the majority of workers do not. In my clinic with a staff of 5, 3 staff members earn less than 50,000$ and are seeing their salaries reduced futher with a furlough day a month for the next two years. It is a race to the economic bottom of the barrel for jobs that have been the mainstay in the SF economy for years. If Mr. Adachi likes the private sector so much, then he should go and work in it for awhile.

This measure ,which has already been stripped by a judge of its most draconian and unconstitutional part is not going to help fund services and will open the door to destroying public sector labor contracts which have been negotiated in good faith. That is probably its real intent of the measure.

This measure won't fund the services. It is badly crafted and will hurt a lot of workers and their families.

This is a measure that only Meg Whitman would love and love to see pass.

This measure will not save the services anymore than Care Not Cash reduced homelessness in San Francisco.

Jeff Adachi should no better.

Posted by Guest lucretiamott on Oct. 01, 2010 @ 12:51 pm

city workers have already promised to pay their own retirement contributions in full, which is to commence July 01, 2011 [nine (9) months from now]. they did this when they ratified their most recent contract earlier this year.  it should be noted that regarding pension reform and prop b; very little money will be saved by forcing city workers to contribute their fair share a mere six [6] months prior to schedule.  So apparently then, the "big savings" hoped for by passing such a brilliantly thought out piece of agenda must come from the lesser emphasized "healthcare" component of this poorly thought out piece of written scapegoating and bullying.  in exchange for continued health care provisions to children or other needy legal dependant of the hard working city employee, the wealthy authors and venture capitalist-billionaire backers of this divisive proposition have opted to use this "hidden" aspect to boost their "savings" figure which they shamelessly tout knowing full well that such drastic cuts will not only displace the most vulnerable, namely children and retirees needing healthcare who cannot otherwise afford it but to also undermine the overall universal healthcare concept, which most San Franciscans recognize as smart and cost effective  --all in an effort to gain a certain amount of esteem and notoriety for its author to run as a mayoral candidate in the 2011 local election with the support of the powerful wealthy.  people, please see this for what it is and not for what it is not!  cuts to preventive healthcare at minimal savings to the city fund will end up costing us tax payers double, triple and quadruple -when urgent care and emergency services at skyrocketing rates and exuberant medical industry costs and fees are factored in as the only remaining viable options for those no longer able to qualify for any other type of medical coverage!  please vote NO on B.

Posted by CJFIowers on Oct. 02, 2010 @ 6:04 pm

..."it should be noted that regarding pension reform and prop b; very little money will be saved by forcing city workers to contribute their fair share a mere six [6] months prior to schedule."

It should be noted this statement (as well as others) is incorrect. Prop B requires all miscellaneous (non police and fire) employees to pay 9% of wages not the 7.5% some will begin "paying 6 months prior to schedule."
Thus the statement "very little money will be saved" on the pension side is also wrong as the pension side saves $38 million. This $38 million alone would generate more revenue for the general fund than any other single item on the November ballot (the transfer tax might be close).

Prop B also cuts no one's health benefits. It requires employees to contribute more for said benefits.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 02, 2010 @ 8:53 pm

What infuriates me the most about the pro-prop B argument is the implication that since private sector workers no longer receive defined-benefit pensions and are rapidly losing health benefits, we should take these away from government workers. Why? Why not work toward a way to restore decent benefits for everyone, rather than pick on those few who still have them? Yes, it's true the public sector is pretty much the last bastion of decent benefits, at least among the middle class. But in EVERY other western democracy, these benefits, along with others like adequate vacation and sick leave are the norm for EVERYONE, private and public sector alike.

Way to race to the bottom, America!

Posted by Cole on Oct. 02, 2010 @ 7:27 pm

Uh, no...Prop B is not about "implications." It's about math. By employees saying they don't want to pick up any of the annual $800 million employee benefiit cost increase, they are saying taxpayers should pick up the entire tab and that's ridiculous. Not only are the benefits unsustainable, neither is the City employee position.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 03, 2010 @ 12:17 pm

I agree totally. The prevailing attitude is I dont have it, so you shouldnt either. Instead of working to bring one group up, they would rather tear another down.

In an age where corporate execs are trashing companies and walking away with tens of millions we should be protecting more workers, not less.

I dont know where Adachi gets the figure of $46,000 as the average private sector salary. He is an Attorney. I would love to see the average salaries of any of the large local law firms

Posted by nyc_irish on Oct. 06, 2010 @ 6:54 pm

i'm the decider, i'm the decider, i'm the decider.
it's my idea that is the best one.
it's my point of view that is smarter than yours.
it's my needs that are more important than yours.
it's my family that needs more resources.
it's my pension that is more precious than yours.
it's my rent that should be free
it's my transportation that should be here when i want it, free.
it's my house that should be expanded. don't block my view.
it's my landlord who should share his equity with me.
it's my supervisor who should listen to me and only me.
it's my coffee that needs individual dripping

it's my pacifier that fell off the high-chair.

i'm a san franciscan and i, and only i, approve this message.

Posted by The Real S F Voter on Oct. 03, 2010 @ 8:15 am

Jeff Adachi and other supporters of Prob B are lying when they say that City employees receive a pay and benefits package that can't be matched in the private sector. That's just bullshit. I grew up in Noe Valley when it was a working-class neighborhood, and these days the only ones who can afford to buy a home here are people who work for private firms, not City employees. You see these yuppies every morning, lining up to get on the privately operated free buses that take them to their cushy computer jobs or their venture capitalist offices down in Silicon Valley. While there may be some government employees like Jeff himself, who make high salaries and pay nothing into their pension and benefits package, all the people I know who work for the City cannot afford to buy a home and raise their kids here. City employees are not cause of the economic downturn. I certainly am not voting against the people who staff my neighborhood library, who answer my 911 calls, who take care of my kid when I take her to SFGH, and the others who add more to my city on a daily basis than Jeff Adachi and his billionaire friends ever do.

Posted by Noe Native on Oct. 03, 2010 @ 6:05 pm

I don't hear much about Prop B and retired employees, Remember most retired are on fixed incomes and most never worked 30 years or more with the city and receive 70% or more in pension. Many retired worked for less years and retired because of illness, Many get 20 to 45% or less. Prop B will harm retired more than active working city employees who get step, and annual cost of living increases, also active employees can talk test and promote to higher paid jobs. I have Blue shield and Delta dental, I pay $456 per month for my wife and I. If prop B passes I might have to pay $900 or more, Prop B was poorly drafted is not fair to retired. Other counties have similar health coverage to San Francisco . San Mateo and other counties have a better pension than SF,. many counties you can retire at age 55 SF 60 or older. vote no on B

Posted by Guest ron greene on Oct. 03, 2010 @ 8:33 pm

Exactly! I'm a city worker who doesn't earn $93,000 - not even close! If I (can afford to) retire at age 67, since I started working for the city late in life - I won't nearly qualify for full pension benefits. But I pay my 7.5% of gross pay just the same as those who will. So, the taxpayers are getting a break with my retirement - and this is true of a lot of my co-workers.
I get health benefits.....and ten dollars an hour less than at my last private sector job. So let's do that math - (40 hours a week) X (52 weeks) = 2080 hours X $10 an hour...why that's $20,800 - more than three times what my benefits package is.
That's the simple no BS math.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 04, 2010 @ 11:44 am

Prop B will really be costly to retired city employees. Most retired never worked 30+ years and get a large 70% or more pension...Retired are on fixed incomes. I am retired and get $2000 per month and pay $ 456 for Blueshield and Delta dental for me and my wife. If prop B is passed I might pay $950 or more per month ...How can I afford that? Prop B is a poorly drafted. Acitve city employees get cost of living and step increases and can promote and take test for higher paid city jobs. Retired cannot and seldom get a 2% yearly increase. Vote no of B.

Posted by Guest ron greene on Oct. 03, 2010 @ 8:42 pm

The article states, falsely, that "Healthy San Francisco ... provides low- cost access to healthcare for all uninsured residents...." Check the Healthy San Francisco website, and you will see that it excludes nearly all the residents who pay for it. It counts 5% of your net worth as monthly income, so anyone with any significant savings is excluded. If you're an indigent illegal alien, and a smoker, and an alcoholic, COME ON DOWN, free healthcare for you! But if you're a careful saver, drop dead, you're not part of the Healthy San Francisco universe.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 04, 2010 @ 12:15 am

FYI, restaurants and other businesses pay into Healthy kids meaning, those "illegals" who you despise but make this state actually work, their employers are the ones who pay into the health program for their employees. If it wasn't for the taxes and low wage labor, you wouldn't be able to be a careful saver but hey, who cares about economics when you can name call!

Posted by cecil on Oct. 05, 2010 @ 7:54 am

Where did you find that it counts 5% of your net worth as monthly income?

All I found was a schedule of income and fees. An individual can qualify if they make $54,150. A family of 4 can qualify if they make up to $110,250. Not bad. I work in the health care field and it's been a lifesaver for many of my patients.

Posted by Greg on Oct. 04, 2010 @ 7:51 am

"City employees with dependents currently pay $8 a month. Under Prop. B, they would pay $2,988 per year. Private sector employees with dependents pay an average of $7,026 a year. And this doesn't include the 31 percent of San Franciscans who do not receive employer-paid health care costs and pay the entire cost themselves."

Good point, Mr. Adachi. Public employees have had it so good for so long that they just don't understand what people out in the REAL WORLD have to pay for healthcare.

Yes, it is a shame that costs are so high. But all you Public-Sector people writing here must come to grip with reality.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 05, 2010 @ 6:47 am

"the real world" its all the real world, and because you are getting screwed by your employer, isnt a reason to assure someone else gets screwed as well.

Organize at your job and pull a few bucks out of the profit margin of your country to take care of you and your co-workers.

Posted by nyc_irish on Oct. 06, 2010 @ 7:03 pm

"According to the Controller's Office, the city's health system has an unfunded liability of $4 billion — meaning that it has made $4 billion in promised coverage to city employees and their dependents that it doesn't have the money to pay for.

That's a major reason why two city departments that serve the poorest residents, the Public Defender and Public Health, must cut millions of dollars of essential services each year, to save the city's General Fund for growing employee healthcare and pension costs."

This is the key. All these lavish pensions are forcing us to cut city services to people who really need them.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 05, 2010 @ 6:48 am

Jeff, you should be ashamed. Laws should not be made without mediating the effect on the whole of affected parties. Your proposal has a fatal flaw: it hits low-wage workers and part-time workers just as bad as highly paid city workers.

You along with Matt "give me any attention and I wanna be relevant" Gonzalez will be responsible for that janitor, that teacher that makes $40,000 and below and will now pay $600/mo on health care for a dependent child.

I know a secretary that makes $26,000 in SFUSD. She has a child. She's gonna basically get a salary reduction equivalant to $19,000. You are creating true poverty for our families and hiding behind your bloated salary and pension care (which isn't hit). Hypocrite.

Posted by cecil on Oct. 05, 2010 @ 7:50 am

Labor leaders should be ashamed...

Imagine that- the annual cost of employee benefits increasing $1 billion and Labor says they don't want to contribute a dollar to help pay for it. Instead they want to hand the entire bill to taxpayers, taxpayers who earn less on average in wages and benefits. We tried the "mediation" thing and all we got was Prop B (2008) and Prop D (2010) where only NEW HIRES pay more and therefore, the costs just grow. Over the last few years, Labor has done nothing to significant to address the problem and you expect taxpayers to sit on their hands?

But the lack of shame doesn't stop there- there is the ongoing misrepresentation about what the health premium increases are (as called out by the SF Examiner) and the canard that Adachi is exempt from the legislation.

Then we get the "fatal flaw that hits low-paid workers the same as high paid workers." Ever ask yourself why with regard to health premiums, that is the case right now? Last I checked police and fire were not paying more for health care. You should read the City Charter some time.

Anyone can understand why an individual would not want to contribute more but please spare us the Adachi should be ashamed and name-calling tripe...

Posted by Guest on Oct. 05, 2010 @ 8:49 am

Labor leaders should be ashamed!

You are driving San Francisco toward bankruptcy.

Pension costs to retired people will rise by $150 million again next year, and the city will have to cut Park & Rec, cut healthcare services for the poor, cut road work, and cut library hours once again unless you people start paying for some of your own pension obligations.

Posted by Barton on Oct. 05, 2010 @ 12:42 pm

Why does Jeff Adachi want to fund platinum plated defense services for accused felons, many of whom are multiple offenders?

We need to be slashing the salaries of attorneys working for the City if we want to get serious about getting control of the budget.

Did you know that a starting political hack lawyer like Rebecca Prozan makes $110K per year?

Did you know that a senior political hack lawyer like Scott Weiner makes $186K per year?

Surely, Adachi's shop could provide a constitutionally acceptable level of defense for half of the cost of what he's currently charging.

The economy is down, how about the $100K club stepping up to do its fair share instead of taking health care from working families to get rapists and killers off of the hook?

-marc

Posted by marcos on Oct. 05, 2010 @ 12:54 pm

The police and firemen's unions in Richmond (Contra Costa County) uncovered some good dirt on the Green Party mayor there.

She wants to force public-sector workers in Richmond to pay for more of their own pensions, so they dug up some dirt on her. Seems this Green Party stalwart has not paid off her college loans, has undergone psychiatric treatment, and takes anti-depressant meds.

Can we dig up some similar shit on the Former-Progressive Jeff Adachi?

Marcos, you listening? As you say, anybody who gets rapists and killers off the hook by taking healthcare away from working families with little children needs to have his past thoroughly examined.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 06, 2010 @ 8:13 am

Adachi's math is a bit off. I have a dependant and I currently pay $200 a month to keep her on the plan. This is similar to what I paid in the private sector.

Interesting to note that Adachi does not pay a dime into his health plan or his pension...but wants to make City workers do what he does not have to do.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 06, 2010 @ 10:59 am

The money that Propostion B claims will help save the services will be put into the general fund by the next Mayor and a new BOS. The general fund can be used by the next Mayor and the next BOS to do with as they so choose. This measure could have been crafted to ensure money saved by shifting costs of health care benefits onto the workers themselves and slashing salaries to pay for pensions directly to services but it DIDN"T. The general fund can be used to : out source more jobs, hire more consultants, more managers and assistants and do just about anything BUT save services.

In addition, most of the money generated by this measure comes from shifting the burden of paying for healthcare onto the workers, not from contributions to their pensions. Most workers pay or will be paying into their pensions. This is not about pension reform. It is a regressive measure that puts more burden on the workers themselves with an over all salary reduction that will not save the services.

It is a fraud, not progressive reform and will not generate enough money to save the city services. Over 250 million dollars was generated last year by concessions made by the city's workers to plug the final hole that was the deficit. That not only saved services, it saved jobs that help the local economy continue to get a little better.

I thank the SFBay Guardian for "No, No, No" on Proposition B. It is not progressive reform but a measure only Meg Whitman would love and love to support.

Posted by Guest lucretiamott on Oct. 06, 2010 @ 2:02 pm

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