CA Health Care Affordability Board Selected

Governor Newsom announces final board appointees that will lead the implementation of the state’s newly created Office of Health Care Affordability to help control the cost of health care

SACRAMENTO, CA – Governor Newsom today announced his selections for the board that will lead implementation of the Office of Health Care Affordability, newly established within the department of Health Care Access & Information (HCAI). His four selections join the previous two appointees selected by the California State Assembly & Senate, rounding out the full board of eight along with the CA HHS Secretary (or designee) and the CalPERS Chief Health Director (or designee) as a nonvoting member. The board now includes:

  • David Carlisle, M.D., President of Charles Drew University of Medicine and Science, and former head of the Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development.
  • Sandra Hernandez, M.D., President and CEO of the California Health Care Foundation, and formerly director of the San Francisco health department and co-chair of Mayor Newsom’s universal coverage commission in 2004-5.
  • Rick Kronick, Ph.D., UC San Diego, consultant to the Healthy California for All Commission, formerly in both the Obama and Clinton Administrations.
  • Elizabeth Mitchell, President and CEO of the Purchaser Business Group on Health, an association of large employers that focus on cost and quality.
  • These appointees now join the previously selected members:
    • Health and Human Services Secretary Mark Ghaly, M.D.
    • Senate appointee Richard Pan, M.D., MPH, former state Senator, former Assemblymember, former chair first of Assembly Health, then Senate Budget Sub on Health and Human Services, and the Senate Health Committee
    • Assembly appointee Ian Lewis, NUHW, formerly UNITE HERE Health
    • Chief Health Director of CalPERS Don Moulds, Ph. D, formerly Commonwealth Fund VP, before that Obama Admin HHS, and before that health staff to Sen. President Pro Tem John Burton, as an ex-officio member.

“These new board appointments offer deep expertise and experience, and ultimately real hope, that this new Office of Health Care Affordability will provide relief to California consumers from ever-increasing health care costs,” said Anthony Wright, executive director of Health Access California, the statewide health care consumer advocacy coalition, a leading supporter of the state legislation that established the Office. “From purchasers, philanthropy, and academia, these appointees appreciate the complexities and diversity of California and the health care system, and also the urgency to set meaningful goals with real accountability and enforcement.”

“Californians are crying out for relief on affordability in general, and health care in specific. The new Office of Health Care Affordability is the most comprehensive effort in California to date to address the inflated and ever-increasing price of health care,” said Wright. “We’ve been talking about the problem for years—now we need to make sure this Office has the information, tools and political backing to set meaningful goals with real accountability.”

The Health Care Affordability board is the decision-making body charged with setting the statewide and sector-specific spending growth targets, which is the key goal of the Office of Health Care Affordability. The Board will also appoint a Health Care Affordability Advisory Committee that will help guide the establishment of the cost growth benchmarking program.