American Kidney Fund Statement on California Assembly Health Committee Passage of AB 290

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

On Tuesday, March 19, 2019, the California State Assembly Health Committee passed AB 290 (Wood), a legislative proposal that puts the health and well-being of more than 3,700 Californians living with kidney failure at risk. Below is statement from AKF President and CEO LaVarne A. Burton:

ROCKVILLE, Maryland (March 19, 2019) –

“In 2018, more than 3,700 low-income dialysis and transplant patients in California relied on grant assistance from AKF to afford the cost of their health care, and we are extremely concerned about the impact AB 290 (Wood) would have on the Californians we assist. Passed today by the Assembly Health Committee, this legislation will cause direct and significant harm to low-income end stage renal disease (ESRD) patients in California by destroying a safety net that has been instrumental in keeping low-income California kidney patients alive since 1997.

“More than half of our grants in California in 2018 were for Medicare Part B, Medicare Advantage and Medigap premiums. Under AB 290, every person who depends on us for help affording coverage would be equally affected and significantly harmed. This bill conflicts with the federal advisory opinion under which we run our program, and therefore, if enacted, the legislation will quickly force AKF to stop helping California kidney patients, no matter what kind of insurance they have—Medicare or private.

“This bill puts vulnerable patients in the middle of a longstanding financial feud between insurers, unions and providers. We hope California legislators understand the devastating consequences this legislation will have on thousands of low-income, predominantly minority Californians and reject the measure as it moves through the Legislature.”

About the American Kidney Fund

As the nation’s leading independent nonprofit working on behalf of the 30 million Americans with kidney disease, the American Kidney Fund is dedicated to ensuring that every kidney patient has access to health care, and that every person at risk for kidney disease is empowered to prevent it. AKF provides a complete spectrum of programs and services: prevention outreach, top-rated health educational resources, and direct financial assistance enabling the nation’s low-income dialysis and transplant patients to access lifesaving medical care, including dialysis and transplantation. AKF holds the highest ratings from the nation’s charity watchdog groups, including Charity Navigator, which includes AKF on its “top 10” list of nonprofits with the longest track records of outstanding stewardship of the donated dollar, and GuideStar, which has awarded AKF its Platinum Seal of Transparency.

For more information, please visit KidneyFund.org, or connect with us on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.