To reassess problems with on-call physician coverage in California, we repeated our anonymous 2000 survey of the California chapter of the American College of Emergency Physicians. Physicians responded from 77.4% of California emergency departments (EDs), 51.0% of ED directors, and 34% of those surveyed. Of 21 specialties, on-call availability worsened since 2000 for 9, was unchanged for 11, and improved for 1. Of ED directors, 54% report medical staff rules require on-call duty, down from 72% in 2000. Hospitals have increased specialist on-call payments (from 21% to 35%, with 75% paying at least one specialty). Most emergency physicians (80.3%) report insurance status negatively affects on-call physician responsiveness, up from 42% in 2000. Emergency departments with predominantely minority or uninsured patients had fewer specialists and more trouble accessing them. Insurance status has a major negative effect on ED consultation and follow-up care. The on-call situation in California has worsened substantially in 6 years.