NKF Statement on Key Healthcare Policy Initiatives to Help People with Kidney Disease

NEW YORK, Sept. 15, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — This week, the U.S. House of Representatives is reviewing several policy initiatives in the budget reconciliation process that, if passed, could positively impact patients with kidney disease. The National Kidney Foundation and our advocates nationwide have been working closely with Congress to keep kidney patients and their unique needs front and center and we strongly support the following initiatives:

Lowering the Cost of Prescription Drugs

NKF is proud to have worked with the Partnership to Protect Coverage in advocating for lower cost prescription drugs for our patients. Among other things, this provision caps Medicare Part D out of pocket costs at $2000 per patient, per year.

Including Dental, Vision, and Hearing Benefits under Medicare

Many kidney patients lack access to affordable dental care and that can affect their eligibility for transplantation. Good dental care is important for everyone, but especially for people with kidney disease. What might be a minor infection for a healthy person could be major problem for someone with kidney disease. NKF strongly supports expanding coverage for dental services.

Medicaid Expansion

Nearly half of patients with kidney failure utilize Medicaid. Expanding access to the estimated 4 million Americans currently uninsured and yet ineligible for Medicaid would ensure more patients get access to kidney care.

Affordable Care Act Reinsurance Program

This provision would lower premiums, deductibles and out of pocket costs for patients with ACA plans, thus expanding access to kidney care.

Advanced Research Projects Agency for Health (ARPA-H)

This critical initiative would provide an additional $3 billion in funding for health research, and NKF is fighting to ensure that kidney disease research is prioritized in this new program.

NKF will work closely with Congressional leaders and our grassroots advocates nationwide to ensure that all of these important patient benefits become law. To become an advocate visit voice.kidney.org.

Kidney Disease Facts
In the United States, 37 million adults are estimated to have chronic kidney disease (CKD)—and approximately 90 percent don’t know they have it.  1 in 3 adults in the U.S. is at risk for chronic kidney disease.  Risk factors for kidney disease include: diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity, and family history. People who are Black or African American, Hispanic or Latino, American Indian or Alaska Native, Asian American, or Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander are at increased risk for developing the disease. Black or African American people are almost 4 times more likely than Whites to have kidney failure. Hispanic or Latino people are 1.3 times more likely than non-Hispanic or non-Latino people to have kidney failure.

Become an Advocate
Voices for Kidney Health is a diverse nationwide community of dedicated kidney patient and health professional advocates working with elected officials and other public leaders to create policies and initiatives that help those living with kidney disease and to promote better kidney health.  By harnessing their life stories to enact change, Voices advocates work to ensure quality care for patients with kidney disease and advance policies that would expand access to home dialysis, protect living donors, promote healthcare equity, and spur investment in prevention and research.  Change starts with you. Become an advocate at voices.kidney.org.

About the National Kidney Foundation
The National Kidney Foundation (NKF) is the largest, most comprehensive, and longstanding patient-centric organization dedicated to the awareness, prevention, and treatment of kidney disease in the U.S. For more information about NKF, visit www.kidney.org.

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SOURCE National Kidney Foundation

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