On June 8, 2021, Senators Benjamin Cardin (D-MA) and Roy Blunt (R-MO) re-introduced The Chronic Kidney Disease Improvement in Research and Treatment Act (S.1971), a bipartisan, bicameral bill designed to not only raise awareness of chronic kidney disease (CKD) and end-stage renal disease (ESRD), but also improve understanding and access to treatment for patients, which includes the Jack Reynolds Memorial Medigap Expansion Act.
The latest statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that more that 1 in 7 US adults (about 37 million people) have CKD and that as many as 9 out of 10 of those adults with CDK do not know they have CKD. Left untreated, CKD progresses to ESRD, which then requires dialysis or a transplant in order to survive. Although there are many Americans living with kidney disease, the disparity with which it affects minority communities is well established. African Americans comprise approximately 13% of the United States’ population; however, they make up more than 35% of all patients on dialysis due to kidney failure. Additionally, Hispanic or Latino Americans are 1.3 times more likely to have kidney failure than white Americans, American Indians and Alaska Natives are 1.2 times more likely, and Asian Americans are also at a higher risk.
If passed, the Chronic Kidney Disease Improvement in Research and Treatment Act (S.1971) would help Americans across the US in addressing some of the most urgent issues faced by the kidney community by:
- Expanding kidney disease awareness and education
- Making investments in dialysis care
- Making investments in kidney disease research
- Incentivizing innovation and reform in quality standards
- Expanding patient choice through the Jack Reynolds Memorial Medigap Expansion Act and protecting patients’ access to Medicare Advantage (MA) plans
For more information on the Chronic Kidney Disease Improvement in Research and Treatment Act (S.1971), you can read an op-ed on the bill at The Hill: https://thehill.com/blogs/congress-blog/healthcare/559133-a-bipartisan-solution-to-address-chronic-kidney-disease-in?rl=1.
If you are interested in taking action and urging Congress to support the Chronic Kidney Disease Improvement in Research and Treatment Act (S.1971) and other important kidney legislation, visit DPC’s Take Action page.