The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled in favor of San Francisco, to grant a stay of the lower court decision to strike down the employer contribution of their Healthy San Francisco plan.
This means that San Francisco can begin implementing its Healthy San Francisco plan, including the employer contributions, while the case is fully heard and deliberated at the Ninth Court of Appeals. There’s no guarantee that SF will win the final appeal (or appeals to the Supreme Court), but it send s a powerful signal. From the decisions:
In this case, we hold both that there is a “probability” — indeed, a “strong likelihood” — of success on the merits, and that “the balance of hardships tips sharply in . . . favor” of the City and the Intervenors. We further hold that the public interest supports granting a stay.
We’re not done with this. The legal challenges for the San Francisco plan, and for state-based health reforms in general, are still ongoing. But this suggests there is a “strong likelihood” of defending local health reforms against these challenges.
Most of all, this is good news for the San Franciscans who can now get better access to care as a result.