Friday, December 28, 2007

City of San Francisco Seeks Emergency Injunction Against ERISA Preemption Ruling

California Told ya this one was only starting to get juicy (via San Fran. Chronicle):

San Francisco asked a federal appeals court on Thursday to let the city extend its groundbreaking universal health coverage plan to thousands more uninsured adult residents next week, despite a federal judge's ruling striking down a key provision requiring employers to pay part of the cost.

City Attorney Dennis Herrera's office and a group of labor unions are seeking an emergency stay from the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco that would allow the expanded health care ordinance, including the challenged employer fee, to take effect Wednesday as scheduled while the city appeals the ruling.

Meanwhile, city officials and labor groups continued to flatly reject calls from business leaders to come up with another way to pay for the plan such as instituting a quarter-cent sales tax . . . .

The city attorney's office has asked for a ruling on the emergency stay request by Monday and hopes to have the appeal process complete by the middle of next year, said Deputy City Attorney Vince Chhabria.

Chhabria argued the case meets the court's test for an emergency order, which can be granted only if it would prevent more hardship than it caused. Chhabria said San Francisco and its residents would suffer far greater hardships from the denial of a stay - in withheld health coverage and increased costs - than employers would suffer from having to pay the fees during the city's appeal.

More surely to follow after the weekend.


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