The Single Payer PAC is lead by veterans of the movement for single payer health care over the past two decades. They have worked with numerous grassroots and professional organizations. These leaders share the perspective that never have so many Californians been mobilized to support this long overdue reform.
Henry Abrons, MD, mPh
Henry L. Abrons is a retired physician whose political activism began in the 1960s. Political organizing and advocacy for social change have gone hand in hand with his career in medicine.
He was associate professor of pulmonary and critical care medicine at West Virginia University before moving to California in 2001 to work at Alameda County Medical Center.
Since ending his clinical practice in 2007, he has been engaged full-time in volunteer work for health care reform based on his conviction that a single payer "improved Medicare for all" program is the most equitable and sustainable way to provide universal access to affordable high-quality health care.
He has spoken and testified extensively on health policy, and is a board member of Physicians for a National Health Program (PNHP) and past president of the California chapter. He also serves on the board of California OneCare.
Ron Birnbaum is a physician and progressive political activist in Los Angeles.
In 1994 while in medical school, he collected signatures outside of Safeway to help place Prop186, a single payer universal health care initiative, on the ballot. In 2017 he won election to the Democratic State Central Committee and in 2018 was elected a Vice President of the California Democratic Council. In 2017 he ran for the California Assembly in a special election from the 51st Assembly District; his platform centered on enactment of Medicare for All in California. Ron now serves on the steering committee of the Southern California Chapter of Physicians for National Health Program.
A Navy veteran and member of the Union of American Physicians and Dentists, Ron has dedicated his work as a dermatologist to the poor and underserved in Los Angeles County in public, non-profit and private sector settings.
He lives in the Silver Lake area of Los Angeles with his wife and three children. Ron is an AYSO youth soccer referee and nationally competitive tournament bridge player.
Dan Hodges was active during the unsuccessful effort to pass the single payer initiative, Prop.186 in1994. The following year he was a co-founder of the grassroots single payer organization, Health Care for All-California. From 1998 to 2010 he was the chair of Health Care for All. He worked with Senator Hilda Solis on SB 480, whose passage in 1999 led to the implementation of the Health Care Options Project, a state-sponsored study of single payer. He then closely worked with Senator Sheila Kuehl on her single payer bills, SB 921 and SB 840, and also with Senator Mark Leno on SB 810.
In 2011, he initiated the East Bay Single Payer Coalition for Alameda and Contra Costa Counties. He is a member of Health Care for All’s board of directors and, on behalf of HCA, he occupies the “single payer organization seat” on the Steering Committee of the Healthy California Campaign, which is the grassroots coalition working to pass the single payer bill, SB 562 (Lara, Atkins).
Eric Leenson is President of Sol Economics, a firm that builds strong links between socially responsible enterprises throughout the Americas. He has been involved in the fields of socially responsible investing (SRI) and business for more than 25 years, co founding Progressive Asset Management, Inc. (PAM). He managed client portfolios, served as CFO and ultimately became CEO. PAM was the first full service US brokerage to specialize in SRI.
Eric has long been an active member of many business networks in both the United States and in Latin America. He acted as a liaison between the B Corp movement in the U.S. and the founders of Sistema B in South America.
Andrew McGuire has been an advocate for policy issues to improve the public’s health for 45 years.
In 1973, he successfully lobbied for a flame resistant children’s sleepwear standard for Massachusetts. In 1978, he launched a campaign for fire-safe cigarettes, which has led to mandatory fire-safety standards for cigarettes in all 50 states, Canada, Australia, South Africa, Korea, the European Union and other countries.
He was on the founding board of directors of Mothers Against Drunk Drivers (MADD).
In 1992, he conceived of the statewide Violence Prevention Initiative, a 10-year, $75m public health campaign to prevent youth violence, funded by The California Wellness Foundation. Subsequently, he led the statewide coalition that banned both small-caliber handguns, known as Saturday Night Specials, and .50 caliber sniper rifles. In 1998, he established the first national grassroots gun control organization, the Bell Campaign, later renamed the Million Mom March. He directed the May, 2000 march and demonstration on the U.S. Capitol Mall, which was attended by over 700,000 people in support of sensible gun laws.
Currently, he is Executive Director of California OneCare, which is dedicated to the establishment of an improved “Medicare for All” health care system in California.
Sylvia spent several years as a newspaper reporter in central California and as a Los Angeles-area blogger, writer and activist. Sylvia has volunteered on behalf of healthcare and media reform and is a member of and recording secretary for the Culver City Democratic Club. She is also a member of and blogger for LA Media Reform, a local group of volunteers dedicated to helping people become citizen mediamakers and critical consumers of corporate mass media.