Take action in your state
You can make a significant difference in the lives of kidney patients and living organ donors by communicating with your state and local officials.
Welcome to the American Kidney Fund’s Action Center. Keeping policymakers informed is critical in the fight against kidney disease. Add your voice to thousands of other voices in our Advocacy Network and help us make a difference! Use the Action Alerts below to send personalized messages to your representatives in Congress on key issues affecting kidney patients and their families.
Take action during COVID-19
With loss of income and health care needs rising due to COVID-19, many Americans are turning to Medicaid for the first time. Just as many Americans need Medicaid, states are strapped by pandemic costs and may be forced to cut services, including Medicaid. The federal government can step in and increase its portion to ensure that all Americans have the health services they need.
The same underlying illnesses that cause end-stage renal disease (ESRD) in communities of color - diabetes and hypertension - also increase the mortality rate of COVID-19. Please contact your U.S. Representative to request that they cosponsor H.R. 6561, the Improving Social Determinants of Health Act of 2020.
As Members of Congress continue to consider legislation to address stemming the coronavirus pandemic and stimulating the economy, they must include provisions that protect individuals on dialysis and those with transplants. We are asking Congress to include funding in the next COVID-19 federal aid package to allow AKF to provide a sustained safety net program for these patients, helping them with monthly grants over a longer term.
“Surprise bills” are health care bills that patients didn’t know were coming. These bills can be much higher than normal copays or coinsurance that consumers pay, and they have led to financial hardship and even ruin for some patients. During this difficult during time of an unprecedented global pandemic, when people are out of work and at-risk of not even being able to pay for medical bills, it is even more important that patients know that they will not have surprise bills.
During this difficult time of the COVID-19 outbreak, a record number of people have lost their sources of income and thus, their ability to pay for their health insurance. The American Kidney Fund believes that four main insurance provisions should be included in the next coronavirus relief legislation that would better ensure that people can keep their private insurance.
Ensuring that transplant patients continue to have continued access to immunosuppressive drugs is critical to keeping them off dialysis. With millions of Americans now facing unemployment and possible loss of health insurance as a result, extending Medicare coverage of immunosuppressants is even more important.
Approximately 55 million Americans do not have bank accounts. The “Banking For All Act” would let consumers set up "FedAccounts" at local banks and post offices. Account holders would receive debit cards, online account access, automatic bill pay, mobile banking and ATM access at post offices.
On March 18, 2020, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released guidance that stated that transplants were essential and should not be postponed. However, there have been numerous stories of kidney transplants being cancelled or postponed due to the COVID-19 outbreak, and latest data from United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) shows that living donor transplants have essentially stopped.
Support living donors
Expand Medigap coverage
Take action on other issues
The American Society of Nephrology committed $25 million dollars, and Congress funded KidneyX at $5 million. The funds are needed to ensure there is innovation in the prevention and treatment of end-stage renal disease.
The Chronic Kidney Disease Improvement in Research and Treatment Act of 2019 (H.R. 3912/S. 1676) aims to improve the lives of those with kidney disease. The legislation would increase awareness of kidney disease and expand preventative services.
Kidney disease disproportionately affects African-Americans, Hispanics, Asian/Pacific Islanders, and Native Americans. Issues such as access to care, language barriers, cultural competence of practitioners, and income levels can lead to worse health outcomes for individuals in these communities.
37 million Americans have kidney disease and most of them don’t know that they have it. Kidney disease is one of the top 10 causes of death.
Send a message to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) on a topic that is of critical importance to dialysis patients who rely on AKF for treatment-related grant assistance.
Send a personalized letter to your Member of Congress today to ask him or her to join the Congressional Kidney Caucus to show support for the millions of Americans living with, or at risk of developing, kidney disease!