Healthy SF lowers goal for recipients by 20,000

The total number of San Francisco residents targeted by The City’s universal health care program has dropped by more than 20,000 since its inception 15 months ago.

Only 60,000 residents are likely to seek the free health care option because many residents — about 17 percent — who are uninsured aren’t likely to seek any insurance, free or not, according to a recommendation from the Department of Public Health.

The total number was recently changed and announced Tuesday by Mayor Gavin Newsom at the National Press Club in Washington D.C.

Newsom said more than 30,000 people have signed up for Healthy SF, half of the 60,000 residents “the program hopes to serve,” according to a press release sent after the briefing.

Healthy SF officials originally estimated that there were 82,000 uninsured residents in San Francisco. That number was gleaned from a UCLA study estimating the total number of uninsured in San Francisco. An updated study reduced that number to 73,000.

Mayoral spokesman Joe Arellano said the drop in numbers is not a way to make the program appear more successful. 

“After consulting the Department of Public Health, we found that 60,000 was a more reasonable goal,” he said.

bbegin@sfexaminer.com

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