Retiree Healthcare Costs: It's Even Worse Than You Think

San Francisco has recently received some dubious press for coming first on an unenviable list. A study by the group California Common Sense placed the City by the Bay atop its unfunded health care liability list.

San Francisco's workforce has amassed $4.36 billion in benefits the city is mandated to pay out — and, naturally, the city has not yet begun to sock away dollar one for this looming deficit. Readers not scared out of their wits should yield the words of Yoda: You will be. You will be.

The California Common Sense report has initiated a brief flurry of media headlines and hand-wringing. But, in truth, this is a story nearly as old as Yoda. SF Weekly reported on the $4.36 billion liability back in 2010. We reported on it earlier when it was a mere $4 billion shortfall. Everyone in City Hall who can do math has known about this for a long time. What has the city done about it? Not nothing — but not much, either. In fact, the $4.36 billion tally quoted in the report is already outdated. The city controller will release a newer, higher, more horrifying total in several months.

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