California Information

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.

Posted on Thursday, February 2, 2012

The Union (Grass Valley, Calif.)
The Campaign for a Healthy California on Wednesday denounced the failure of the California Senate to pass SB 810, the California Universal Care Act. The bill died when it remained two votes short of passage.

Posted on Friday, January 27, 2012

By David Gorn | California Healthline
The idea of a single-payer health care system in California stalled on the Senate floor yesterday, falling two votes short of passage.

Posted on Thursday, January 19, 2012

From the office of California State Senator Mark Leno
The Senate Appropriations Committee today approved the California Universal Health Care Act, authored by Senator Mark Leno (D-San Francisco). Senate Bill 810 guarantees all Californians comprehensive, universal health care while reducing the state’s ballooning health care costs and improving the quality of care and delivery of health services statewide.

Posted on Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Various sources
What follows is a partial listing of the media coverage given to parallel marches and rallies held on Monday, Jan. 9, in Sacramento and Los Angeles protesting the continuing injustices in U.S. health care and calling for universal, single-payer health reform. The protests were sponsored by the California Health Professional Student Alliance (CaHPSA), the Campaign for a Healthy California, Occupy LA, Occupy Sacramento, PNHP California and other groups. In Sacramento, the rally was immediately followed by student lobbying efforts in the state Capitol.

Posted on Thursday, January 5, 2012

By Nicholas Anton, M.D. | Letters, The Press Democrat (Santa Rosa, Calif.)
Competition in the health insurance market already exists for those less than 65 years old, and it has done nothing to lower costs. Private for-profit insurance companies do have “systemic inefficiencies” (15 percent to 20 percent overhead) “that contribute mightily to rising costs.” Those same insurance companies fought aggressively to keep the public option (read Medicare for those under 65) out of the Affordable Care Act knowing they couldn’t compete with it.

Posted on Tuesday, January 3, 2012

By Ken Saffier, M.D. | Letters, Contra Costa Times
Employees and businesses pay more for less coverage as the insurance industry seeks to maximize profits. Other developed countries cover their population by some form of social health insurance and have a competitive advantage. In the United States, we don't have the best health care system in the world. Even with so-called reform, it's expensive.

Posted on Monday, November 14, 2011

By Nicholas H. Anton | The Press Democrat (Santa Rosa, Calif.)
Occupy Wall Street emerged as a grass-roots campaign against excessive corporate wealth and political power. Having been bailed out by the U.S. government, large banks are making record profits and paying huge bonuses while lobbying for less regulation of the activities largely responsible for our country's financial collapse.

Posted on Friday, October 21, 2011

Dr. Robert Peck is the honorary chair of the Los Angeles Chapter of PNHP California. The following is a brief autobiography of a physician who has dedicated his life to patient advocacy.

Posted on Tuesday, June 21, 2011

By Katharine Mieszkowski | The Bay Citizen (San Francisco)
More than 100 protesters from community and labor groups rallied outside the Moscone Center in downtown San Francisco Thursday morning to call for the end of private health insurance and for "Medicare for all," while members of the America's Health Insurance Plans met at their national convention inside.

Posted on Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Health advocates to protest insurance companies’ high premiums, denial of care, and meddling in doctor-patient relationship

Posted on Tuesday, May 24, 2011

By Jim Steinberg and Mediha Fejzagic DiMartino | Contra Costa Times
Senate Bill 810, the California Universal Health Care Act introduced earlier this month by Sen. Mark Leno, D-San Francisco, would replace President Barack Obama's health care reform legislation with a more comprehensive system -- one its advocates say would cost everyone no more than what they already pay.

Posted on Thursday, May 19, 2011

By YESENIA AMARO | The Bellingham (Wash.) Herald
The national debate over health care can be summed up in a bill on the table in Sacramento.

Posted on Monday, May 9, 2011

Richard Quint, M.D. | Letters | San Francisco Chronicle
It should come as no surprise that some physicians are resorting to charging an annual fee in order to make ends meet, as the reimbursements we receive from both public and private insurance programs continue to trend downward while the amount of time spent on paperwork increases.

Posted on Thursday, May 5, 2011

Office of Sen. Mark Leno
The Senate Health Committee today approved the California Universal Health Care Act, authored by Senator Mark Leno (D-San Francisco). Senate Bill 810 guarantees all Californians comprehensive, universal health care while containing ballooning health care costs and improving the quality of care and delivery of health services statewide. The legislation passed with a 5-3 vote.