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Winter print edition

Issue No. 5 of the San Francisco Public Press, a broadsheet, full-color local newspaper, will soon be available for just $1 at more than 50 retail outlets and through online mail order ($4). The special section this issue tackles the Healthy San Francisco program, the city's unique attempt at local “universal” health care. We found that the quality of the care is great, but there is a high hidden cost in the form of reliance on federal grants and an overstretched network of community clinics that are facing a flood of new patients.

Back issues of No. 1, 2, 3 & 4 are also available for mail order. Read select stories from the first four issues online: Fall 2011 select stories  | Issue 4 ... Spring 2011 select stories | Issue 3 ... Fall 2010 select stories | Issue 2 ... Summer 2010 select stories | Issue 1

Winter 2011

San Francisco’s universal health plan reaches tens of thousands, but rests on unstable funding

Barbara Grady, SF Public Press — Nov 16 2011 - 7:04am

Coordination and prevention improve care, but as businesses resist, some costs are borne by one-time grants and struggling clinics

Four years ago, San Francisco launched a grand experiment, becoming the first city in the nation to offer comprehensive health care to its growing ranks of uninsured. Stitching together two-dozen neighborhood health clinics and an array of hospitals, the city bet that two reforms — emphasis on primary care and a common electronic enrollment system — could improve outcomes and buffer the city against soaring health care costs. By many measures, San Francisco’s effort to provide universal health care has been a huge success. The initiative, Healthy San Francisco, has over time treated more than 100,000 city residents. But the city’s grand plan has not solved the central problem dogging health care across the country: figuring out who pays for it.

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