AKF Advocates take to the Hill on World Kidney Day
On World Kidney Day 2018, 24 kidney patients, caregivers and loved ones from 14 states joined the American Kidney Fund (AKF) on Capitol Hill to urge their elected representatives to protect living organ donors and ensure that low-income kidney patients continue to have access to health insurance, even if they need charitable assistance to afford it. Their voices are powerful!
Advocates spent a training day getting to know one another and learning about legislation that affects kidney patients.
Several Advocates, including Angeles Herrera (right) from California and Angela Lattimore (center) from South Carolina, participated in AKF’s Congressional briefing about women and kidney disease. Angeles and Angela told Congressional staffers about the difficulties they faced as dialysis patients who were also caregivers for their young children.
Rep. Suzan DelBene (D-WA), co-chair of the Congressional Kidney Caucus, addressed a packed room, saying, “We need to make it easier for people to donate organs.”
Heather Tapley from Maine urged Rep. Bruce Poliquin to cosponsor the Living Donor Protection Act (H.R. 1270) to make it easier for people to donate a kidney by prohibiting insurance discrimination and adding living donation to the Family Medical Leave Act. She and her fellow Advocates will ask their representatives to cosponsor H.R. 3976, the Access to Marketplace Insurance Act, which would require health insurers to accept charitable premium assistance payments from nonprofits for health insurance premiums, preventing insurers from discriminating against patients with chronic diseases who need help paying for their insurance. AKF’s premium assistance program helps dialysis patients and post-transplant patients who cannot afford their insurance premiums on their own.
Heather and Steve Winfree from Tennessee asked Sen. Bob Corker to introduce a Senate version of H.R. 1270 and H.R. 3976.
Wearing their Empower.Fight.Honor. t-shirts, AKF’s Advocates told their compelling stories on behalf of all people affected by kidney disease.
To see more photos from AKF’s Advocacy Day on Capitol Hill, check out our gallery.
You can ask your representative to support these important bills by sending Action Alerts.