SACRAMENTO, Calif. (September 6, 2019) – American Kidney Fund (AKF) President and CEO LaVarne Burton issued the following statement today on the publication of amendments to AB 290 (Wood) before it goes to the full California Senate for a vote next week:
"A year ago, Governor Brown vetoed a previous version of AB 290 and asked stakeholders to develop a solution that would protect patients while addressing the cost of care issue. The legislature failed to do that and now they are attempting to shift the responsibility to AKF to solve a problem that they have created. With their latest round of revisions — 52 amendments — lawmakers acknowledge what we have said from the beginning: AB 290 is a bad bill that hurts patients.
"The amendments were hastily constructed and are full of contradictions, complications and risk for patients. While we study the legal implications of the amendments, we maintain our position that patients will be harmed if AB 290 becomes law. The bill still has the disclosure requirements that have been at the foundation of our objection to the bill since the beginning.
"SEIU and the health insurance industry have pushed this bill through the legislature and the Senate has rushed this process to placate them at the expense of patients. This bill still singles out the neediest people in the state and obscures the fact that the legislature has no plan B to help these patients if AKF no longer can.
"AB 290 still violates the privacy protections for poor and minority persons while maintaining them for everyone else. We are fundamentally opposed to the legislature requiring AKF to disclose the names of the people we help because it violates their right to receive charitable help from a nonprofit with dignity and privacy. "We are working to understand what this new version of the bill means, in all of its contortions and contradictions. If this becomes law, we will be forced to consider all of our available options. Regardless of what the California Senate does, we are going to be true to our mission and do what's best for all 75,000 patients we serve nationwide."
About the American Kidney Fund
The American Kidney Fund (AKF) fights kidney disease on all fronts as the nation’s leading kidney nonprofit. AKF works on behalf of the 37 million Americans living with kidney disease, and the millions more at risk, with an unmatched scope of programs that support people wherever they are in their fight against kidney disease—from prevention through transplant. With programs that address early detection, disease management, financial assistance, clinical research, innovation and advocacy, no kidney organization impacts more lives than AKF. One of the nation’s top-rated nonprofits, AKF invests 97 cents of every donated dollar in programs, earning the highest 4-Star rating from Charity Navigator for 20 years in a row as well as the Platinum Seal of Transparency from Candid, formerly GuideStar.