Nancy Pelosi Didn't Help S.F. Restaurants Get Healthcare Reform Waivers

Categories: Politics
50ftPelosi.png
Republicans are just paranoid
Washington Republicans say they're shocked -- shocked! -- that San Francisco restaurants obtained healthcare reform waivers handed out last month by the federal Department of Health and Human Services. They've even spun a conspiracy theory that says Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi was behind a supposed backroom deal.

But Capitol Hill right-wingers apparently don't know much about San Francisco restaurateurs, or the Golden Gate Restaurant Association lobbying group that has spent a decade attempting to get around any law relating to the health of employees, or to public health. They're among America's most rabid opponents of healthcare mandates. Nobody should be surprised they'd figure out a way to postpone having to comply with Obamacare.


In April, the Department of Health and Human Services approved 204 new waivers, of which 38 recipients were in San Francisco. But San Francisco doesn't make up 20 percent of America. Right-wing geniuses such as Sarah Palin checked the math.

"Seriously, this is corrupt. And anyone who still supports the Pelosi-Reid-Obama agenda of centralized government takeovers of the free market and the corresponding crony capitalism is, in my book, complicit," she told the Daily Caller, a conservative Web site.

But Pelosi actually had nothing to do with the waivers, which are aimed at businesses who would have to pass health care mandates' costs on to customers. A consultant applied for them on behalf of dozens of businesses and Washington bureaucrats approved most applications, irrespective of the restaurants' location. San Francisco dining establishments just happened to have filled out a disproportionate number of applications.

The funny thing is, the GGRA is an old hand at fighting healthcare mandates. And you'd think that Republicans would have cheered them on, not made up a wacky conspiracy theory about their success.

In 2005, the GGRA lobbied intensely to block San Francisco's Healthcare Security Ordinance, which included an employer mandate for healthcare. Having lost that battle, for five years the group mounted a legal challenge and finally lost at the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals last year. In 2006, the year after our local healthcare security ordinance passed, the group lobbied to dilute a 2006 San Francisco sick pay ballot measure.

San Francisco restaurateurs aren't merely experts at trying to evade or defeat measures designed to protect employees' health. They're good at battling public health measures as well. In 2007, GGRA lobbyists succeeded at watering down Bay Area Air Quality Management District rules governing emissions of grill smoke. The group fought to prevent restaurants from having to enforce a smoking ban on sidewalks in front of restaurants. And they succeeded in weakening nutrition labeling legislation that took effect this year.

Now that San Francisco restaurateurs have become national champions at weaseling out of national healthcare reform requirements, you'd think Washington Republicans would pour them scotches and slap their backs. Instead, Palin and her ilk have cooked up a wild theory saying local steakhouses had climbed in bed with Pelosi to obtain waivers when all they did was fill out a form.

Update 5/18: GGRA executive director Rob Black informs us that the "Golden Gate Restaurant Association has not advised its members about waivers under the federal healthcare reform."
 

Follow us on Twitter at @TheSnitchSF and @SFWeekly

My Voice Nation Help
7 comments
Sort: Newest | Oldest
Steve
Steve

Spinning at its finest.  Nancy Pelosi has been in control of this district of decades.  Not only did Obama not have the debates on CSPAN, there are no extra taxes on the Cadillac plans, and now we are issuing waivers?  It IS absurd to impose rules on different establishments.  This is why bureaucrats cannot control such matters.  But it is just as absurd to have that plan to begin with.  Not only are members of Congress bowing out but apparently many others are, too.  The plan sucks, it'll lower the quality of care, skyrocket costs, and raise taxes.  And it only costs 1 trillion!  Thanks, taxpayers. 

ex-marine
ex-marine

Please - this ding-a-ling said obama health care is the best thing possible - then why are there so many exceptions in her district if it really is a good idea - she is a liar - a big ugly liar -

Mike
Mike

Matt Smith is out to lunch again. The business owners everywhere are right to resist governmental interference in their restaurants whether it relates to smoking, health care,the idiot air control bureaucrats, licensing, ad nauseum. The GOP is a nothing opposition to statism. Check out Ron Paul and forget Palin & her fellow neocons.The Board of Stupidvisors is out of control, they should all move to North Korea. 

MrEricSir
MrEricSir

 So you're saying the government should adopt a single-payer plan instead of interfering with private businesses?  Good!

Dauntless
Dauntless

The point is, if Obamacare is so great then why does any business receive waivers?  The fact a large portion of waivers came from Pelosi's District is just amusing, not conspiratorial because she was such an overwhelming supporter of Obamacare. 

MasterG
MasterG

"obama care" is simply a means of collecting money from everyone in the US, so, he can give free health care to his people !   How is it possible that the liberals passed a bill that no one read ?  Universal Health Care ? Please !!!  Who is really gonna get the benefits ?  Remember this fact, If this bill goes effective in 2014, the minorities and illegals will get FREE insurance, the rest of us who don't buy our own insurance will be FINED $3000 per year; does that sound like universal health care to you ???   The government wants to force younger people to buy health care, whether they need it or not.  obama needs their money in order to underwrite free insurance for the poor and illegal immigrants who are currently breaking the hospitals due to non payment.  Anyone ! Who can't seem to understand this shakedown, shouldn't be giving advise on politics.  obama care is just more socialism and a legal means of robbing us all.  He is a thief; obama already looks the part, all he needs is a ski mask !!!!!!

Now Trending

From the Vault

 

©2014 SF Weekly, LP, All rights reserved.
Loading...