The U.S. Supreme Court said San Francisco can continue requiring employers to pay for healthcare, pending an April hearing.
Without comment, Justice Anthony Kennedy, who handles emergency orders for the region, denied the request by the Golden Gate Restaurant Association to stop the program.
The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in January approved an emergency stay allowing the employer mandate to move forward pending an appeal, and a hearing date has been set for April 17. A lower-court judge had overturned the employer mandate in December 2007 on grounds that it violated a federal law regulating employee benefits.
Healthy San Francisco is a $200 million program to provide affordable healthcare access to the citys estimated 82,000 uninsured through local hospitals and clinics. The program began on a small scale in July 2007, and the employer-fee component began this year. The first employer payments are due to the city April 30. -- by Rebecca Vesely
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