High Court Denies Move to Stop San Francisco Health Care Law

February 22, 2008 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice Anthony Kennedy on Thursday denied a request by a California restaurant association that sought to prevent San Francisco from enforcing its new health care spending ordinance, Business Insurance reports.

The Golden Gate Restaurant Association, in November 2006, filed a legal challenge to the ordinance mandating covered employers make required health care expenditures to or on behalf of covered employees, claiming the ordinance is preempted by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA). A U. S. District Court judge ruled in favor of the employer groups and filed an injunction barring implementation of the rule.

In January, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals blocked the injunction concluding the ordinance does not require employers to establish ERISA plans or to make changes to any existing ERISA plans and does not require that employers provide certain health care benefits to their employees, through an ERISA plan or in any other way (See Appellate Court Clears Roadblock to SF Health Care Law ).

According to Business Insurance, the Association had sought an order to prevent enforcement of the 2006 ordinance until the appellate court’s final ruling. Kennedy denied the request without comment.