Our Policy Priorities

We are a strong and independent voice advocating for policies that improve access to health care and that strengthen the quality of care for patients with kidney disease. Learn more about our 2022 policy priorities.

AKF Ambassadors

American Kidney Fund policy agenda

We work with Congress, the Administration, federal agencies and state governments to make kidney disease a national priority. Following are AKF's policy agenda for 2022.

  1. An older African American man getting a blood pressure test

    Addressing health disparities and advancing health equity

    There are longstanding health disparities in the U.S. — differences in health outcomes and health care among groups of people related to their race, ethnicity, age, disability, gender, geographic location, socioeconomic status and sexual orientation.

  2. An African American man getting vaccinated

    Ensuring equity in the COVID-19 pandemic response

    People with ESRD have experienced a disproportionate impact from COVID-19. Data from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) showed that at the end of 2020, Medicare beneficiaries with ESRD had the highest rate of hospitalization among all Medicare beneficiaries — a rate six times higher than the hospitalization rate for Medicare beneficiaries generally.

  3. consultation with doctor windowed room shutterstock 1281498058  1

    Improving early detection of kidney disease and addressing the unknown causes of kidney disease

    Although 37 million Americans are living with chronic kidney disease (CKD), most of them do not know it because it has no symptoms in the early stages. Millions more individuals are at risk of developing kidney disease and are not aware of their risks.

  4. An African American woman choosing health insurance coverage on a laptop

    Fighting insurance discrimination against patients on dialysis

    Health insurers systematically discriminate against low-income ESRD patients who rely on charitable assistance to afford their health insurance premiums and access the health care they need to stay alive. Over the years, many insurance carriers have refused charitable premium assistance payments from AKF on behalf of ESRD patients.

  5. Medical research

    Ensuring adequate funding for kidney research and promoting innovation

    Kidney disease affects 37 million Americans — far more than many other diseases. Yet federally funded research for kidney disease has lagged compared with many other diseases. 

  6. woman holding organ donor sign

    Encouraging organ donation and supporting kidney transplants

    A kidney transplant is considered the best treatment option for many people facing kidney failure because it can increase their chances of living a longer, healthier life. However, the number of people on the organ transplant waiting list is great — about 108,000 Americans are on the list, with nearly 85 percent of those in need of a kidney.

  7. Medigap sign with pills

    Supporting Medigap reform

    Most ESRD patients are eligible for Medicare even if they are under 65. But 20 states do not require health insurers to offer private supplemental Medigap plans to these younger Medicare beneficiaries. 

  8. An African American nurse talking to Hispanic patient

    Ensuring access to high quality, patient-centered care for Medicare beneficiaries with kidney disease

    As the Medicare benefit continues to evolve for ESRD beneficiaries and people with earlier stages of chronic kidney disease, and as policymakers examine ways to improve quality and lower costs, access to coverage options, supporting patient choice in treatment options, and improving care quality and patient education must be at the center.

  9. Laptop screen with a health coverage image

    Protecting and enhancing access to health coverage under the Affordable Care Act, Medicaid, and employer-sponsored insurance

    The elimination of preexisting condition exclusions for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) has enabled patients with chronic diseases, including kidney disease, to enroll in private commercial health plans that provide comprehensive coverage.

  10. senior man counting pills

    Protecting patient access to needed medications; supporting lower prescription drug costs

    Access to medically appropriate prescription drugs for kidney patients must be preserved amid federal efforts to address the rising cost of prescription drugs. Patients with chronic kidney disease, kidney failure and kidney transplants rely on prescription drugs to manage their kidney disease and comorbidities.

  11. couple eating mediterranean food

    Utilizing nutrition as a way to prevent and manage chronic diseases

    Dietary interventions have been shown to be successful in managing and improving symptoms of chronic diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, and kidney disease.

  12. U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C.jpg

    Our Legislative Priorities

    Several important pieces of legislation have been introduced in the current Congress, and we are actively working to enact these bills that would affect kidney patients and their access to life-sustaining health care.

AKF Ambassadors on Capitol Hill
AKF Ambassador - Nieltje Gedney

I am a solo home dialyzor for the past 6 years. Thanks to advocacy and learning about home dialysis I am healthier than I have ever been, despite being on dialysis

-AKF Ambassador, Nieltje Gedney

Jose and Dawn dancing

Keeping the memory alive

Fundraise for AKF

"I wanted to do something to honor my mom, and loved that my fundraiser could help kids with kidney disease go to summer camp."    -Jose Ortiz, KidneyNation fundraiser

Support AKF anywhere, anytime — and have fun while doing it! Join an AKF 37 Mile Challenge. Pledge your birthday. Or create a fundraiser that's unique to you. We are here to support you along the way.