California Information

California Chapter

PNHP California
Website: http://www.pnhpcalifornia.org
E-mail: info@pnhpcalifornia.org

NorCal Office:
Phone: 510-590-9692
Fax: 510-590-9780
620 3rd St.
Oakland, CA 94607

SoCal Office:
Phone: 213-482-0256
1137 Wilshire Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90017

Allied Organizations

AllCare Alliance
Website: http://www.allcarealliance.org
Email: georgia@allcarealliance.org
Phone: 213-482-0256

California Health Professional Student Alliance
Website: http://www.CaHPSA.org/
Phone: 213-482-0256

California OneCare
Website: http://californiaonecare.org/

Health Care for All — California
Website: http://www.healthcareforall.org/
Phone: 1-888-442-4255

Single Payer Now!
Website: http://singlepayernow.net/

Media Contacts

Don McCanne, MD
(949) 493.3714

(PNHP Senior Health Policy Fellow) Dr. McCanne is a family physician in San Clemente, California. For three decades, Dr. McCanne has allotted one-half of his practice hours to indigent patients. He has written extensively in the lay press on single payer and patient-oriented health care, often using the concept of “Universal Medicare” as a model for single payer that the public can understand and support.

Claudia Chaufan, MD | (831) 420-1874 | claudiachaufan@yahoo.com
Dr. Chaufan practiced medicine in her native Argentina before earning a doctorate in sociology in the U.S.  Now assistant professor at the Institute for Health & Aging at UCSF, she teaches sociology of health and medicine, sociology of power, public health, comparative health care systems, and sociological theory.

Paul Y. Song, MD - radiation oncology, Los Angeles | (310) 310-1992 | paulysong@yahoo.com

Dr. Paul Song is a board-certified radiation oncologist, healthcare activist, and biotech executive. He serves as the Executive Chairman of the Courage Campaign, a leading California-based progressive organization made up of more than 900,000 members. Dr. Song is on the faculty at the Samuel Oschin Cancer Center at Cedars Sinai Medical Center.

He has been a tireless advocate for universal healthcare and is on the board of Physicians for a National Health Program California and is co-chair of the Campaign for a Healthy California.

In January 2013, Dr. Song was appointed and served as the very first visiting fellow on healthcare policy in the California Department of Insurance.

Dr. Song attended the University of Chicago where he graduated with honors and received his medical degree from George Washington University. He completed his residency in radiation oncology at University of Chicago Medical Center.

Dr. Song also serves on the boards of Liberty in North Korea and People for the American Way.

Henry Abrons, MD, MPH | (510) 848-5765 | habrons@gmail.com
Dr. Abrons is Board President of PNHP California and also a member of the Board of Directors for PNHP. He is a retired physician specializing in Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine. He has trained and worked in public hospitals in New York City, Chicago, West Virginia, and Oakland.

Bill Skeen, MD, MPH | 510-502-8673 | Bill@pnhpcalifornia.org
Dr. Skeen, the Executive Director of Physicians for a National Health Program California, has more than fifteen years experience in public health advocacy. Prior to his work in public health, Dr. Skeen practiced emergency medicine.

Local Governments Endorsing H.R. 676

  • Santa Cruz, CA
  • West Hollywood, CA
  • Santa Monica City Council

Local Unions Endorsing H.R. 676

  • California School Employees Association (CSEA), AFL-CIO, San Jose, CA
  • Plumbers, Steamfitters, and Refrigeration Fitters Local 393, San Jose, CA
  • California State Pipe Trades Council, United Association, AFL-CIO
  • California Nurses Association/National Nurses Organizing Committee CNA/NNOC
  • South Bay AFL-CIO Labor Council, San Jose, CA
  • Plumbers & Pipefitters Local 409, United Association, San Luis Obispo, CA
  • USW Local 675, Carson, CA
  • Santa Clara & San Benito Counties Building & Construction Trades Council, San Jose, CA
  • AFSCME Retiree Chapter 36, Los Angeles, CA
  • San Francisco Web Pressmen & Prepress Workers Union Local 4N, IBT
  • International Longshore & Warehouse Union (ILWU), San Francisco, CA,
  • North Bay Labor Council, AFL-CIO, Santa Rosa, CA
  • San Francisco Central Labor Council, San Francisco, CA
  • San Bernardino/Riverside Counties Central Labor Council AFL-CIO, Riverside, CA
  • Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1589
  • San Mateo County Central Labor Council


California State News

Posted on Monday, September 28, 2015

By Paul Y. Song, M.D., and Wendell Potter | The Huffington Post
When the Affordable Care Act (ACA) became law in 2010, the individual health insurance market was highly concentrated, with little to no competition in most states. One or two insurers controlled the top 94 metropolitan markets in the United States. In 30 states and the District of Columbia, one major insurer had over 50% of the individual market and over 90% in Alabama alone.

Posted on Thursday, September 10, 2015

By Paul Y. Song, M.D. | Inheritance
In 1991 then United States Surgeon General C. Everett Koop asked me and my fellow graduating medical students to raise our right hands and repeat the Hippocratic Oath.

Posted on Monday, August 17, 2015

By Ann Troy, M.D. | Marin (Calif.) Independent Journal
Congress created Medicare 50 years ago to provide seniors with health care, giving them protection against financial ruin, and peace of mind.

Posted on Thursday, August 6, 2015

By Patsy Ouellette | The Bakersfield Californian
According to my friend, Bernice Bonillas, it’s only warm bodies that drive movements. And so it was that I found myself returning from Los Angeles July 30 on a bus filled with other Bakersfield citizen activists, returning from a rally celebrating the 50th anniversary of Medicare.

Posted on Thursday, August 6, 2015

By Robert Vinetz, M.D. | Los Angeles Times
My hope is that similar reporting, focus and resources will be directed to another, much larger deadly epidemic: that of the more than 30 million people in our nation still uninsured, even with Obamacare, and the Harvard Medical School's report in the American Journal of Public Health that 45,000 of them unnecessarily die every year for lack of insurance and access to high-quality healthcare.

Posted on Thursday, July 30, 2015

By David Potter, M.D. | Chico (Calif.) News & Review
What computer were you using in 1966? Trick question. We didn’t have personal computers back then. Remarkably, during that year, without computers and 11 months after the Medicare bill became law, the government began paying medical bills for 18.9 million seniors.

Posted on Tuesday, July 28, 2015

By Nick Anton, M.D. | The Press Democrat (Santa Rosa, Calif.)
Only 50 percent of individuals over 65 years old had health insurance in 1965. Now 98 percent do.

Posted on Friday, July 24, 2015

By Paul Y. Song, M.D. | The Huffington Post
When I graduated from medical school almost 25 years ago, I was asked by then U.S. Surgeon General, Dr. C. Everett Koop, to raise my right hand and recite the Hippocratic Oath. In it, I recall "I will abstain from that system which is deleterious and mischievous to my patients."

Posted on Thursday, July 23, 2015

By Evan Tuchinsky | Chico (Calif.) News and Review
Dr. Aldebra Schroll understands the workings of Medicare from the physician’s side of health care, but also as the daughter of policyholders. Her parents, ages 89 and 87, retired from New York to New Mexico 25 years ago and continue to live independently.

Posted on Wednesday, July 22, 2015

By C.V. Allen, M.D. | Modesto (Calif.) Bee
You were a long time coming. With the Great Depression of the 1930s came demand for both health insurance and old-age pensions. Conservatives and the American Medical Association raised the cry of “socialized medicine” – threatening to sink both efforts.

Posted on Tuesday, June 30, 2015

By George Lauer | California Healthline
Undocumented immigrants pay billions more into Medicare every year than they use in health benefits, and in fact they subsidize care for other Americans, according to researchers.

Posted on Monday, June 29, 2015

By Aldebra Schroll, M.D. | Chico (Calif.) Enterprise-Record
We are quickly approaching the 50th anniversary of Medicare on July 30. Medicare is the federally funded health program for seniors 65 and over and those with permanent disabilities. It was developed to guarantee health care to the elderly population and prevent poverty as people age.

Posted on Tuesday, May 12, 2015

By David Chico, RN | Chico (Calif.) Enterprise-Record
As I approach a significant milestone in my life — age 65 and impending retirement after 34 years as a registered nurse — I become aware of a closely related milestone in our national life: the 50th anniversary of the Medicare program on July 30 of this year.

Posted on Thursday, April 23, 2015

By Robert Speer | Chico News Review
First the good news: The Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare, has added millions of Americans to the health insurance rolls in the past year and a half.

Posted on Monday, April 13, 2015

By Joseph Eichenseher, M.D. | Sonoma County (Calif.) Gazette
In previous columns in this newspaper you’ve heard a myriad of reasons why single payer, or Improved Medicare for All, benefits Americans and provides for a better and less expensive solution to the debacle of our current healthcare situation.

Posted on Tuesday, January 13, 2015

By Jerome P. Helman, M.D. | Los Angeles Times
California's budget is again in peril due to uncontrolled healthcare expenses. Medicaid (California's Medi-Cal) has always been underfunded and poorly run. Should we continue a healthcare system that is fiscally unsound and a public embarrassment or discard it in favor of transparency, efficiency and affordability? ("California's soaring healthcare costs bode ill for the budget," Jan. 8)

Posted on Tuesday, January 6, 2015

By Stan Gold | Sonoma County (Calif.) Gazette
In the December issue of the Gazette, we pointed out that the U.S. is No. 1 in the world in health care costs (17.3 percent of our GDP), and that the U.S. health insurance industry is a barrier to the delivery of affordable, comprehensive, health care to the American people. We also noted that “Single Payer Health Care,” aka “Expanded, Improved, Medicare for All,” is a tried and tested solution to our health care problems. It has had many decades of successful performance in a large number of the world’s industrialized democracies.

Posted on Thursday, December 4, 2014

By Jeoffry B. Gordon, M.D., M.P.H.
It is now five years since the ACA came into being and one year since it started financing patient care. Thus it is an excellent time to review its inadequacies from a health policy point of view.

Posted on Monday, August 25, 2014

By Thomas Meisenhelder | San Bernardino County (Calif.) Sun
On July 30, 1965, President Lyndon Johnson signed into law the nation’s most successful medical care program, Medicare. This year marks the 49th anniversary of our commitment to provide good, accessible health care to those over 65. This program has been hugely successful and now covers 98 percent of the country’s senior citizens. Medicare costs rise more slowly than other health care costs and seniors with Medicare are more satisfied with their health care than those with private insurance.

Posted on Monday, August 25, 2014

By C.V. Allen | The Modesto (Calif.) Bee
The following is part myth (the government doesn’t sell auto insurance) and part reality – an example of how an insurance program can be gamed for private benefit to the detriment of the public – which is very much the issue.

Posted on Tuesday, August 12, 2014

By Ann Troy, M.D. | Pacific Sun (San Rafael, Calif.)
Congress created Medicare 49 years ago to provide seniors with health care, protection against financial ruin and peace of mind. All you needed was proof of age, citizenship (or legal residency) and you were covered. It was so simple and straightforward that all seniors were enrolled in six months, in the pre-computer era—using index cards!

Posted on Thursday, July 31, 2014

By Erica Heiman, M.D. | The Sacramento Bee
Lately, I have been diagnosing a lot of high blood pressure and diabetes. Patients who have never received medical care are now pouring into the county-funded Sacramento Primary Care Clinic, which provides care to low-income and other underserved patients.

Posted on Thursday, July 31, 2014

By Peter Conn | Santa Barbara (Calif.) Independent
Happy birthday, Medicare, which celebrates 49 years of service today. In a 1995 essay in the journal Health Affairs, Robert Ball wrote that those who helped develop Medicare saw it as a first step toward universal national health insurance. Covering only seniors was a fallback position because that is all that could be expected to pass Congress at the time. Sound familiar?

Posted on Wednesday, July 30, 2014

By David Potter, M.D. | Chico Enterprise-Record
I appreciated your article about Medicare for all Americans. I did want to expound a little bit about Tom Reed's point about drug costs.

Posted on Thursday, July 3, 2014

By Emily Dalton, M.D.
When inquired if Godzilla was “good or bad,” producer Shogo Tomiyama likened it to a Shinto “God of Destruction” which lacks moral agency and cannot be held to human standards of good and evil. “He totally destroys everything and then there is a rebirth; something new and fresh can begin,” he said.

Posted on Tuesday, February 18, 2014

By Steven Maiken | The Daily Sundial (Northridge, Calif.)
Canadians don’t drop dead or delay care due to the lack of health insurance. However in America, thousands will continue to face death according to Harvard researchers. About 25 million people will still not have insurance under Obamacare.

Posted on Tuesday, January 7, 2014

By C.V. Allen, M.D. | The Modesto Bee
They are one American in six. They range in age from newborn to 65. They might be anyone – even your neighbor. They are America’s problem and America’s shame. They are America’s 47 million medically uninsured.

Posted on Monday, November 18, 2013

By Jerome P. Helman, M.D. | Los Angeles Times
We should not sit idly by. The time has come to eliminate the complicit health insurers, place price controls on medications and medical equipment, and make hospitalization affordable to all. We need single-payer now: Medicare for all.

Posted on Monday, July 29, 2013

By Aldebra Schroll, M.D. | Chico (Calif.) News & Review
On July 30, the Medicare program will mark its 48th birthday.

Posted on Thursday, April 11, 2013

By Tom Reed | Chico Enterprise-Record
Health care costs have, over the past quarter century, increased at more than twice the rate of overall inflation without any help whatsoever from Obamacare. The real culprit is a fragmented, irrational health care financing and delivery system more dedicated to corporate profits than public health.

Posted on Wednesday, February 13, 2013

By Kathy Robertson | Sacramento Business Journal
SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- “Everybody in, nobody out” was the chant by a couple hundred people gathered at the Capitol at noon on Monday to rally for a single-payer, universal health care system in California.

Posted on Monday, February 11, 2013

By Paul O'Rourke-Babb and Joseph Katz | Chico News & Review
CHICO, Calif. -- In the fall of 2011 a few Chico State students founded the local chapter of the California Health Professional Student Alliance (CaHPSA). CaHPSA is a student-based advocacy group working alongside Physicians for a National Health Program (PNHP) to institute a public single-payer health-insurance system in the state of California.

Posted on Monday, October 29, 2012

By Charles V. Allen, M.D. | The Modesto (Calif.) Bee
A handful of other countries — all first world, industrial, democratic and yes, capitalistic — nations have achieved four things we have not: coverage of all citizens, costs half to two-thirds our cost, equal or better medical outcomes and a level of public support higher than ours.

Posted on Monday, August 20, 2012

By Teryl Zarnow | The Orange County Register
Dr. Don McCanne describes an alternative that sounds stunning in its simplicity: Everyone would be automatically enrolled in a national health plan at birth. There would be no deductible, no out-of-pocket, no coinsurance, and no networks. It's similar to Canada's national insurance. "It returns choice to the patient and removes monetary barriers to care," he says.

Posted on Tuesday, June 26, 2012

By Mari Edlin | California Healthline
Neither the Affordable Care Act nor the challenges it faces in the Supreme Court has stopped the wheels from turning for the California Nurses Association, Physicians for a National Health Program and Campaign for a Healthy California.

Posted on Monday, June 18, 2012

By Li-hsia Wang and Henry Abrons | San Francisco Chronicle, Letters
The California HealthCare Foundation’s report on Medi-Cal might lead Chronicle readers to believe that low-income residents feel secure in California’s safety net for health care.

Posted on Monday, June 18, 2012

By Silvia Casabianca | VOXXI News
An Argentinean medical doctor, Claudia Chaufan arrived in California as a single mom of a 7-year-old in 1997. She had been accepted to a one-year postgraduate training in science and medical communication. Destiny had it that she’d fall in love with a man that eventually became her husband, and with a cause that is now her passion.

Posted on Tuesday, May 29, 2012

By Chad Terhune | Los Angeles Times
Thousands of patients in California and across the nation who take expensive prescription drugs every month for cancer, rheumatoid arthritis and other ailments are facing sticker shock at the pharmacy.

Posted on Tuesday, February 21, 2012

By Lenny Potash | Labor Notes
Though it’s passed the legislature twice before, a bill to establish a single-payer universal health insurance system in California failed in the state senate in January.