San Francisco, like any complex organization, is going to get some things wrong and some things right. Providing health care on a musician’s budget is something The City does right. The program is called Healthy San Francisco and all that’s needed to qualify is proof of SF residency and three months worth of moderately low bank statements. At this point, half of the musicians reading this are thinking, correctly, that this is a good deal. The other half are wondering, “What’s a bank account?” Co-payments go up the more one makes, but for most the coverage is only $20/month, $10-20 co-pay to see a doctor, and $5 co-payments for medicines. Test and lab visits do not require any co-payments.
And, unlike private health insurance, SF’s “socialist menace” health care doesn’t jerk people around about previously existing conditions, deny services or try to foist people off on low-cost, ineffective alternative placebos. Healthy SF provides real care at neighborhood clinics around SF, and at SF General Hospital. Quality of care is high and reasonably timely because SFGH is a teaching hospital for UCSF’s highly regarded medical school. On rare occasions a person might have to share the waiting room with a guy in an orange jumpsuit, but that’s no big deal. He’ll be handcuffed to the gurney. Besides, any working musician would have shared a stage with worse at one time or another and that person wasn’t handcuffed to anything. www.healthysanfrancisco.org