ROCKVILLE, Md. (April 26, 2022) — The American Kidney Fund (AKF) commends the introduction of the Health Equity and Accountability Act (HEAA) of 2022 — a blueprint toward achieving health equity in the United States that addresses kidney disease research, surveillance, prevention and treatment. LaVarne A. Burton, AKF President and CEO, today issued this statement:
"AKF strongly supports the HEAA and applauds Rep. Robin Kelly and the Congressional Tri-Caucus for reintroducing this landmark legislation that tackles longstanding health disparities seen in every part of our country. This bill provides clear, actionable steps designed to advance health equity, one of AKF's top priorities.
"Kidney disease is an urgent public health problem that currently affects 37 million Americans. At this moment, about 810,000 people in the U.S. are living with kidney failure and need dialysis or a transplant to survive.
"While people of all races and ethnicities are equally likely to develop kidney disease, people of color are more likely to reach kidney failure and require dialysis or a transplant to survive. Black Americans represent 35% of those with kidney failure, but only 13% of the U.S. population, and Hispanic/Latino people are 1.5 times more likely to progress to kidney failure than non-Hispanic people. This is unacceptable.
"The intersection of systemic racism and social determinants of health create unequal opportunities for Black patients and other patients of color to best manage their kidney disease before it's too late.
"The Health Equity and Accountability Act contains important provisions that address kidney disease, such as increasing research into kidney disease in minority populations and inclusion of people of color in clinical trials, improving research by focusing on data sharing, genetic mapping and gene therapy; creating a national action plan to address kidney disease; expanding public health programs; increasing use of home dialysis in communities of color; increasing transplants for people of color and expanding Medigap access for people with kidney failure.
"These are lifesaving measures that will benefit millions of Americans, and we look forward to continuing to work with Rep. Kelly on efforts to pass this critically important legislation."
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.