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Health Care "Here and There"; U.S. Reform Taking Shape Now

Wednesday, June 10, 2009
6:30 PM - 8:30 PM
Event Type:
Don Bechler
Location Details:
Centro del Pueblo, 474 Valencia, near 16th Street

SF physician with expertise on comparative health care systems will contrast current US health care reform proposals with national health care in other countries; and will bring us up-to-date on the current hearings on health reform in Washington, DC.

On Wednesday, June 10, Claudia Chaufan, M.D., PhD, Assistant Professor of Health Policy at UCSF and Vice President of the California Physicians Alliance, will compare current proposals for US health reform with existing systems in other industrialized nations. The talk will take place in San Francisco at the Centro del Pueblo, 474 Valencia Street, from 6:30 to 8:30 pm.

This week, the US Congress and President Obama are poised to start drafting a long-awaited health care reform bill. Single payer, a form of universal health reform that would eliminate the health insurance industry, has been largely ignored by politicians and the media so far. The House is expected to release health care legislation soon, and a draft bill could come out as early as next week. Also on Wednesday, June 10, the House Education and Labor Committee, chaired by Bay Area Congressman George Miller (D-Martinez), will hold a hearing in Washington D.C. called: "Examining the Single Payer Health Care Option".* Single payer provides health care for everyone in many other industrialized countries, and does so at much lower cost and with far better public health outcomes than the market-driven system used in the United States. The World Health Organization, in a study of health care in 191 countries, said that the U.S. health care system is the most expensive one in the world (we spend about twice as much per person for health care as most other industrialized nations); while the U.S. ranked 37th in overall performance; and 72nd in terms of overall level of health.

Dr. Chaufan, a native of Argentina, received her medical training at the University of Buenos Aires and practiced medicine there for ten years before coming to the US, where she earned her doctorate in Sociology from UC Santa Cruz. An expert on comparative health care systems, Dr. Chaufan will explore what can be learned from other countries’ experiences and challenge common stereotypes about health care in countries that have single payer systems. Dr. Chaufan will also examine the “public option:” a hybrid form of publicly financed and private health insurance being promoted by the White House and most Congressional Democrats. “By keeping private insurance as a basic part of this system,” she states, the public option continues to treat health care not as a basic right but as a commodity, like laptops or shoes, that you are expected to ‘comparative shop' for until you get the best deal."

For more information, contact SPN chair Don Bechler: 415-810-5826 / dbechler [at], or visit

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Single Payer Now (SPN) is a San Francisco-based grassroots organization working to bring about universal healthcare without the private health insurance industry. In California, SPN supports SB 810, the California Universal Healthcare Act; on the national level, it supports companion bills HR 676 (Conyers- the U.S. National Healthcare Act) and S 703 (Sanders- the American Health Security Act).


*For more details about the House Education and Labor Committee hearing in Washington DC on June 10, including a list of witnesses who will testify, go to:

Added to the calendar on Tue, Jun 9, 2009 3:26PM
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