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Healthy San Francisco might sicken Tea Partiers

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health care in SFTea Party members serving in Congress might find themselves headed to the emergency room with symptoms of a heart attack after hearing about the latest development in universal health care in San Francisco.

As conservative Republicans in Washington, D.C., fulminate over President Obama's Affordable Health Care Act, the city's 6-year-old Healthy San Francisco program is on track to provide care predominantly for immigrants who are living here illegally.

And the kicker? Everybody here is fine with it. Only in San Francisco? Indeed.

Healthy San Francisco was launched in 2007 to provide universal health care for the city's residents - regardless of employment status, pre-existing medical conditions or immigration status.

It isn't as good as health insurance because it doesn't provide medical care outside the city's borders. But city officials have said since its creation they hoped the program would someday cease to exist in favor of national universal health care.

That's on the road to happening - sort of - but definitely not if you're an immigrant in the country illegally. (Immigration reform is another topic entirely for Washington politicians who love berating each other on 24-hour cable news networks.) In San Francisco, those immigrants will continue to be covered anyway.

Barbara Garcia, the city's director of health, said providing care for immigrants is a no-brainer.


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