Close to Home: The path to universal health care

Readers of The Press Democrat have seen opinion pieces on Senate Bill 562, the “Healthy California Act.” That bill, often called single-payer or Medicare for all, is being held in the state Assembly, and I have been criticized for not doing more to overturn that decision.

Let me be clear, I have always supported health care for all. I am a health care provider, chairman of the Assembly Health Committee and strongly believe that health care is a right.

Assemblymember Jim Wood’s Bills to Fight Escalating Prescription Drug Prices Approved by Senate Health Committee

SACRAMENTO—Today, two bills authored by Assemblymember Jim Wood (D-Healdsburg) to fight escalating prescription drug costs received approval by the Senate Health Committee – one step closer to becoming law and helping consumers.

AB 265 is a bill to prohibit the use of drug manufacturer coupons for brand name drugs for which there is a less expensive and therapeutically equivalent generic version. AB 315 would begin regulating pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) – middlemen negotiators between drug companies and health plans – which are currently unregulated. AB 315 passed with bipartisan support.

Senator Mike McGuire and Assemblymember Jim Wood Receive Approval for Audit of Skilled Nursing Facilities Business Operations

SACRAMENTO—Today, Senator Mike McGuire (D-Healdsburg) and Assemblymember Jim Wood (D-Healdsburg) received approval from the Joint Legislative Audit Committee for their request earlier this month that an audit be performed of the Department of Public Health (DPH), the Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) and the Office of Statewide Planning and Development (OSHPD) to determine the impact and appropriateness of related-party transactions on skilled nursing facilities’ Medi-Cal rates and reimbursements.

California bill would end 'purely profit-driven' practice of drug-company coupons - LA Times

When it comes to fixing the dysfunctional U.S. healthcare system, state Assemblyman Jim Wood (D-Healdsburg) knows there are bigger fish to fry than drug-company discount coupons. But as he told me: “You’ve got to start somewhere.” Wood’s anti-coupon bill, AB 265, was approved by the Assembly last week. The legislation is now making its way through the state Senate. It’s a tricky business, this bill, because what it would do is prohibit pharmaceutical companies from offering discounts to patients for name-brand drugs if there’s a cheaper generic available.