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
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.