California Information

Contact Information

PNHP California
Website: www.pnhpcalifornia.org
Email: pnhpca@pnhp.org
Mailing Address: P.O. Box 460537, San Francisco, CA 94146
Steering Committee: Henry L. Abrons, MD, MPH; Danielle Alexander, MD, MSc; Jeff Gee, MD; Scott Goldberg, MD; Don McCanne, MD; Paul Song, MD; Irma Strantz, DrPH

To contact our existing local chapters in the San Francisco Bay Area or Sacramento, use the email above with "Attention [Chapter Name]" in the subject line.

If you would like to participate in forming a new local PNHP chapter in California, please contact organizer@pnhp.org.

Healthy California Campaign

Visit www.healthyCA.org to learn more about California's single-payer legislation, SB 562, and to get involved in the fight for health justice locally.

Single Payer Toolbox

Google Drive
We have posted materials related to single payer to Google Drive. You may find these materials helpful in recruiting fellow physicians, reaching out to media outlets, planning lobby days, and generally making the case for single payer. Please click here to access this publicly available toolbox.

Media Contacts

Don McCanne, MD
(949) 493.3714 | don@mccanne.org

(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.

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

Dr. Paul Song is a board-certified radiation oncologist, biotech executive, and health care reform activist.
He is a national board member of Physicians for a National Health Program and serves as co-chair for the Campaign for a Healthy California. He served as executive chairman of the 1.2 million-member Courage Campaign from 2013 to March 2016. He also served as the very first visiting fellow on health care policy in the California Department of Insurance for 2013.
Dr. Song is the chief medical officer of ATGen Global and Cynvenio Biosystems. He recently left the faculty at the Samuel Oschin Cancer Center at Cedars Sinai Medical Center and currently volunteers his time seeing Medicaid and uninsured patients at California Hospital.
He 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 serves on the boards of People for the American Way, The Asian Pacific American Institute for Congressional Studies, Liberty in North Korea, and The Eisner Pediatric and Family Medical Center.

Henry Abrons, MD, MPH
(510) 848-5765 | habrons@gmail.com

Dr. Abrons is a national board adviser to Physicians for a National Health Program and a past president of PNHP California. 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.

Local Governments Endorsing H.R. 676

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

Local Unions Endorsing H.R. 676

More than 60 California labor organizations have endorsed H.R. 676, the Expanded and Improved Medicare for All Act. A list of these organizations can be found here. For the latest updates on labor endorsements nationwide, click here.

California State News

Posted on Friday, February 3, 2017

By David Lazarus | Los Angeles Times, Feb. 3, 2017
Supporters of healthcare reform may feel disheartened as President Trump and Republican lawmakers prepare to repeal the Affordable Care Act and replace it with … well, something. They can’t even agree among themselves on what the U.S. healthcare system should look like. But there’s reason for hope, albeit a long shot.

Posted on Saturday, December 3, 2016

By C.V. Allen, M.D. | The Modesto Bee, Dec. 3, 2016
Don’t look now, but our president-elect is on track to preside over the premature and preventable deaths of 16,000 Americans – each year. Sound extreme? Read on.

Posted on Monday, November 7, 2016

By RoseAnn DeMoro | Common Dreams, Nov. 2, 2016
While the world is watching the Presidential race Tuesday night, another election battle in California provides a window in the ability of voters to challenge corporate power – in this case one of the most abusive industries in the world, big pharma.

Posted on Tuesday, October 18, 2016

By Paul Y. Song, M.D. | The Huffington Post, Oct. 14, 2016
In the run up to the Affordable Care Act, the pharmaceutical industry’s annual lobbying efforts steadily increased to a peak of $273 million in 2009. Along with private negotiations between then Pharmaceutical Industry President Billy Tauzin and the White House, the ACA was written without any consideration towards making prescription medications more affordable.

Posted on Saturday, October 1, 2016

By Aldebra Schroll, M.D. | KevinMD Blog, Oct. 1, 2016
The school year is back in session, and our student health center is busy. As a college health doctor, I have been able to watch the rollout of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) among this population. Since its passage, more of our students are now insured, but many unique challenges still persist for this population.

Posted on Tuesday, May 17, 2016

By Ernest A. Canning | Ventura County (Calif.) Star
Per capita, the U.S. spends three times as much for health care than the U.K., whose taxpayer-funded National Health Service provides health care to citizens without additional charges or co-pays. In 2013, U.S. taxpayers footed the bill for 64.3 percent of U.S. health care - about $1.9 trillion. Yet in the U.S. nearly 30 million of our citizens still lack any form of insurance coverage.

Posted on Sunday, May 8, 2016

By Michael Jones | Los Angeles Times
A good friend of mine recently found herself between jobs, with a gap in her health insurance and a recurrence of her kidney stones. What she needed were fluids and pain relief, fast. I'm a gastroenterologist, and hoping to minimize the financial impact, I went with her to our local ER and had a conversation with the attending physician. Maybe we could pass on the CT scan and extraneous lab work?

Posted on Monday, April 25, 2016

By C.V. Allen, M.D. | The Modesto Bee
Medicaid currently has the ability to negotiate prices with drug companies. For similar medications, prices are approximately 40 percent less than what Medicare recipients pay. The Wall Street Journal cited studies suggesting that if Medicare was allowed to use its heft to negotiate in the marketplace, it would save about $16 billion annually.

Posted on Thursday, February 11, 2016

Seasonal agricultural workers do not fit into a neat slot in the dysfunctional, fragmented financing system that President Obama and Congress have selected for us.

Posted on Monday, January 11, 2016

By Nicholas H. Anton | The Press Democrat
Even with the lowest increase in health care inflation and premium costs over the past five years, more Americans, with or without insurance, are experiencing difficulty paying their medical bills. Insurance companies have increased co-pays and deductibles while narrowing the panel of doctors and hospitals patients are allowed to use.

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.