Legislative Advocacy

Dr. Lewis Appointed to Respiratory Care Board

June 20, 2013

Ronald H. Lewis, M.D., a UAPD member and President of UAPD’s State Employed Physicians (SEPA) Board, has has been appointed by Governor Brown to serve on the Respiratory Care Board of California. Dr. Lewis works as a physician and surgeon with Ironwood State Prison.  Congratulations!

UAPD President Gives Scope Bill Status Update

June 13, 2013

By Stuart Bussey, M.D., J.D., UAPD President.

As of the June 1st legislative recess, SB 491,492,493 (the Hernandez ancillary provider trio) remain alive.  They all barely passed the Senate in the last week in May and now enter the world of Assembly committees where they will no doubt be further challenged and amended by various doctor groups, including UAPD.

Since we began questioning the wisdom of extending independent practice to NPs, optometrists and pharmacists, UAPD members have responded with a flurry of strong “nay” opinion letters which have been read by legislators and Californians all over the state.  I wrote a joint op-ed with the California Medical Association President decrying the indiscriminate scope expansion for all of these ancillaries as potential “on the job training.”  Medical care is not the place for such training.  And All Californians deserve the highest quality of care.  These bills do not ensure that equality. Read more …

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Trial Lawyers Launch Campaign to Remove MICRA Caps

June 5, 2013

Consumer Attorneys of California, representing trial lawyers, paid $6,635 to install the billboard. It is part of a coalition committed to spending $1 million in pushing to eliminate the $250,000 cap, said Eric Bailey, spokesman for trial lawyers…

Lisa Maas, executive director of Californians Allied for Patient Protection, countered that the cap on pain-and-suffering was enacted for good reason – to curtail out-of-control medical costs…

CAPP, the coalition supporting MICRA, contends that patients receive fair compensation. Only non-economic damages — pain and suffering — are capped, not lost wages, punitive damages, or past and future medical cost, the group notes.”  — From the Fresno Bee

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Support Cindy Chavez for Santa Clara County Supervisor

May 16, 2013

On June 4th, Santa Clara County will hold a special election to fill a vacant seat on the Board of Supervisors.  This is an opportunity for UAPD members to support a candidate that will represent our members fairly and equitably in Santa Clara County.  Former Vice Mayor Chavez publicly opposed the Board of Supervisor’s decision to unilaterally implement furloughs and cuts to UAPD members in 2012.  She was instrumental in getting the County back to the table, where UAPD negotiated long overdue improvements to salary and benefits for our members in that County.  Click Here to Donate Today!

Doctors Speak Out on Scope of Practice Bills

April 29, 2013

Dozens of UAPD doctors wrote letters to the editor objecting to the Sacramento Bee editorial in favor of three bills that would expand mid-level scope of practice.  So far, the Sac Bee has printed letters from UAPD members Dr. Craig Yamada, Dr. Matthew Gleason, Dr. Jeffrey Lee Neubarth, Dr. Milton Lorig, Dr. Robert Weinmann, Dr. Ali Alkoraishi, and Dr. Irvin Herman (click each name to see the letter).  Each of these letters shines light on the significant safety issues posed by these bills.

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UAPD Opposes Expanding Midlevel Scope of Practice

April 13, 2013

Bills now being considered by the Senate Business and Professions Committee take the wrong approach to addressing the doctor shortage.  Rather than creating incentive programs to increase the number of people able to complete medical school or willing to relocate to underserved areas, some legislators want to dramatically expand the scope of practice of mid-levels, posing a significant risk for patients.

SB 491 – Would allow Nurse Practitioners (NPs) to practice medicine without M.D. oversight.  Among other changes, NPs would be able to furnish, order and prescribe drugs, including controlled substances, without consulting a doctor.
SB 492 – Would grant optometrists the right to prescribe and administer drugs including controlled substances.
SB 493 – Would allow pharmacists to furnish drugs for certain conditions.

While acknowledging the vital role played by nurse practitioners, optometrists, and pharmacists, UAPD believes that these healthcare providers do not have the training and experience to safely do all that is authorized by these bills.  The Affordable Care Act was intended to bring quality healthcare to more Californians, not substandard care provided by mid-levels operating beyond the scope of their training.

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California Voters Stand Up for Working People

November 7, 2012

Proposition 32, which would have severely limited the ability of working people to make political contributions through their unions, was sounded defeated at the polls on Tuesday.  Proposition 30, a temporary tax to fund schools and public safety, was passed by voters.  Both are good news for UAPD members, many of whom devoted their time and energy to these campaigns.  Congratulations to all!

UAPD Member Richard Pan Wins Reelection

November 7, 2012

UAPD member Richard Pan, M.D., soundly defeated Republican Tony Amador in the race for the 9th Assembly District.  Dr. Pan, who has already served one term in the Assembly, joined UAPD members in campaigning for Proposition 30 and against Proposition 32.  He spoke to members at the UAPD Triennial Convention in San Francisco last weekend.  UAPD sends its congratulations to Dr. Pan and wishes him the best of luck in his next term.

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All Together for the Greater Good — A Letter Urging No Vote on Prop 32

November 1, 2012

By Ralph DiLibero, MD, UAPD

The visionary talk of the day concerning national and international dynamic competitive business advantage is all summed up in two catchy words:  “Quality Assurance.”  “Quality Assurance” is a business deliverable goal that is defined with some difficulty because so many myriad metrics function to fulfill that goal.  There is, however, one over-riding human metric that not only stands out among the rest, this metric additionally  persists and prevails above all others.  A person or workplace production group that is at ease and satisfied with the job at hand is both happier and more productive towards fulfilling the goal of “Quality Assurance.”   A congenial workplace atmosphere creates a win-win scenario, both for the employee and the employer, and is the penultimate assurance for a business to achieve sustainable “Quality Assurance”.

This ideal business dynamic competitive advantage originates at the worksite and can be best accomplished when and where there exists a pleasant environment that fosters and produces an equal footing, level playing field, face-to-face conversation concerning mutual desires, needs and goals between management and workers. These ultimately amiable conversations are not just about pay or productivity rankings or pay for performance; they accomplish a much greater purpose.  Unhappy workers are poor with work-flow, and unhappy managers are poor producers of a bottom profit line.  By outlining the totality of everyone’s concerns, productive business goals can then jointly met with enthusiastic reliance on mutual needs and with mutual respect.  Increased self-esteem leads to increased self-actualization.   Workers will then go the extra mile to help others with un-assigned tasks, and managers will then also take the extra steps to show that they are more appreciative of their employees; and all will be naturally more compliant to the others’ physical, mental, and safety needs.  A family-like atmosphere, a sense of affectionate relationships, a business ethic of acknowledged and desired mutual dependency and belonging can then prevail no matter what size the business organization choses to become.  This type of workplace produces a reliable and respected culture which in turn produces the fundamental basis for successful industrial relations and success. The continued happy productive atmosphere of a workplace environment is the most powerful dynamic competitive advantage that one company or business organization can have over another.

In order to accomplish such a utopian business partnership, there has to be a mechanism and a site for the aforementioned original and primary face-to-face employer-employee conversations to take place. That precise site, the site for such discussions and negotiations has been referred to as a “collective bargaining table”.

That precise mechanism, the mechanism for achieving mutual happiness and job satisfaction sounds to me like…well what does it sound like to you?  nIt sounds exactly like unionism and solidarity to me.

You may have heard the expression, “money talks and wimpy whiners walk”.  That is why sustainable solidarity is so important for unionism to properly function.  Institutional financial stability is also an essential component of successful unionism and solidarity negotiations.  A financially weakened union position at the bargaining table does no good for fostering relationships between employers and employees.  “Quality Assurance” will eventually suffer as the consequence of such an arrangement.  The dynamic competitive advantage of the business enterprise will then be lost. The business bottom line will be hurt.   Lose-lose would unfortunately be the scenario sadly sung by all the involved parties.

That unfortunate sad consequence would result if Proposition 32 passes the ballot.  The obvious road ahead is clear to all, to all employees and employers  –  we must all VOTE NO ON PROP 32.

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UAPD Member Dr. Richard Pan Named to Top Health Post

October 5, 2012

In August pediatrician and UAPD member Dr. Richard Pan was named the Chair of the California Assembly Health Committee.  Dr. Pan has been a member of the Health Committee since first elected to the Assembly in 2010.  Dr. Pan is currently running for reelection in District 9, which encompasses parts of Sacramento, Elk Grove, and neighboring communities.

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