In 2007 San Francisco began its Healthy San Francisco Plan designed to provide health care for all San Francisco citizens. In 2007, it was estimated that San Francisco had 82,000 uninsured citizens. Under the plan, all uninsured citizens residing in San Francisco can seek care at the city’s public and private clinics and hospitals. The basic coverage includes lab work, x-rays, surgery, and preventative care. The city plans to pay for this $203 million coverage by rerouting the $104 million the city currently spends treating the uninsured in the emergency rooms, mandating business contributions, and requiring income-adjusted enrollment fees. The plan requires all businesses with more than 20 employees to contribute a percentage toward the plan. Many business owners consider this a burden and warn they will not stay in the city. The Mayor sees universal health access a moral obligation for the city. Take one of the following positions. • San Francisco has an obligation to provide its citizens with health access. -OR- • San Francisco does not have an obligation to provide its citizens with health access. Discuss the following in your assignment: 1. What is the government’s role in regulating healthy and unhealthy behavior? 2. Has the balance between personal freedom and the government’s responsibility to provide health and welfare of its citizens been eroded? Why or why not?
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