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.
By Aldebra Schroll, M.D. | Chico (Calif.) News & Review
On July 30, the Medicare program will mark its 48th birthday.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Health advocates to protest insurance companies’ high premiums, denial of care, and meddling in doctor-patient relationship
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.
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.
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.
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.
By Robert Speer | Chico (Calif.) News and Review
To understand why the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act has fallen short of what President Obama envisioned for health-care reform, consider the story of Billy Tauzin, as told by Dr. Jeff Lobosky.
California Nurses Association | Press Release
Despite the passage of national health care reform and widespread uproar in California over insurance industry pricing practices and other abuses, California’s largest private insurance companies continue to deny more than one-fourth of all claims, according to new findings released today by the California Nurses Association/National Nurses United.
By Duke Helfand | Los Angeles Times
Insurer says the increases result from fast-rising healthcare costs and other expenses resulting from new healthcare laws. The move comes less than a year after Anthem Blue Cross tried and failed to raise rates as much as 39%.
Single-payer health insurance is not a new concept, though it’s one that’s not always understood. It gets lumped into the term “government health care” and branded as “socialized medicine” like the national systems in, for example, Canada and Great Britain. However, as Dr. Paul Hochfeld noted, the proposals for the U.S. call for publicly funded, privately delivered care.
By Carla Amurao | Santa Barbara Independent
Last night, the Mad as Hell Doctors, a group of activist physicians and health care providers, marched across town in an effort to raise awareness about universal health care and calling “Obamacare” a bare-minimum reform. From Anapamu Street to Canon Perdido, the sound of drums and cheers filled the air while passersby honked their horns and offered high fives and other plaudits.
By Henry Abrons | San Francisco Chronicle
Looking at health insurance, the situation is truly dire. There was a dramatic spike in the uninsured - 4.3 million more, to a record 50.7 million - in spite of the expansion of government health insurance rolls by nearly 6 million.
By Duke Helfand | Los Angeles Times
California regulators are seeking fines of up to $9.9 billion from health insurer PacifiCare over allegations that it repeatedly mismanaged medical claims, lost thousands of patient documents, failed to pay doctors what they were owed and ignored calls to fix the problems.
By now most of you have heard the disappointing news that our bill, SB 810, the California Universal Health Care Act, was held on the Assembly Floor on the last night of session, effectively killing the measure until next year. Over my strong objections, Assembly leadership decided to hold the bill. Although we are greatly disappointed, we are determined to come back even stronger next year.
By Claudia Chaufan, M.D. | Santa Cruz Sentinel
As Medicare celebrated its 45th anniversary July 30, the White House sent its present: a Deficit Commission, composed by some of the very folks who were unable, or unwilling, to see the $8 trillion housing bubble that brought the financial system to a halt. Nope. It's no joke: these folks are now at the forefront of the campaign to "save" Medicare and the budget.
James G. Kahn, MD, MPH | Testimony before California Assembly Health Committee
My particular expertise in health system research is in billing and insurance-related administrative costs. My colleagues and I have demonstrated that as much as 1 dollar in seven that goes into a medical office is used to collect payment – for contracting, billing, copayment collection, and repeated appeals of claim denials. Overall, for health care funded through the private insurance system, fully 38 cents of each dollar goes to administration and profits, leaving only 62 cents for clinical care. 20 cents is avoidable administration – which would mainly disappear with single payer. This translates to billions of dollars that become available to pay for health care – more than $200 billion per year in the United States, and $30 billion in California.
By Claudia Chaufan | Santa Cruz Sentinel
Right after the passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, Sentinel reporter Kurtis Alexander listed among its benefits that close to two-thirds of Santa Cruz's County 45,000 uninsured residents would become insured, and that those under 26 years of age would now be allowed to remain in their parents' plans. Is this great news and should we uncork the champagne? Not yet.
By Eric LaMotte | Synapse, The UCSF Student Newspaper
Congressional Democrats, the White House and the press want us to play dumb and pretend that the law is a “sweeping measure of reform” that is going to bring meaningful change to patient’s lives, and that we should wait ten years to see how the reform goes before tackling the subject again. They want us to “Ignore” the deficiencies of the new law, despite the fact that Massachusetts, our model for national reform, is already retracting the expansion of insurance coverage it enacted in 2006 and cutting payments to safety net hospitals in order to sustain a fiscally irresponsible model of reform. Massachusetts has the most expensive healthcare system in the world, and yet we are emulating this system in an effort to address rising costs.
For a breather, today's message is an affirmation that there is hope for the future in health care, as represented by this article by Eric LaMotte, an astute medical student at the University of California at San Francisco (my alma mater).
By Claudia Chaufan | Viewpoints | Sacramento Bee
To those led to believe that, as President Barack Obama claimed, the passage of the health care bill is "comparable to the passage of Medicare and Social Security" and that "every American will be guaranteed high quality, affordable health care coverage" as a result of it, my advice is to hold off on uncorking the champagne.