I recently joined other dialysis patients in meetings with Congress to discuss the challenges we face. One of the key topics we covered was how hard it is for patients to get access to the benefits and coverage we need just to survive.
Those challenges are about to get much bigger for many patients after a recent Supreme Court decision. The decision could limit benefits and make it easier for private insurers to move patients off their employer-sponsored coverage and onto Medicare before the traditional 30-month point after they are diagnosed, limiting patients’ access to benefits Medicare doesn’t cover for kidney patients, like dental care.
When I was diagnosed with kidney disease in the early 1980s, I had to fight to keep my job – and the coverage it provided. To know patients going through the same fight may not even be able to hang onto that coverage is extremely concerning.
It hurts to see other dialysis patients struggling. They’re my second family, and this will only add to the challenges they already face. We need California’s members of Congress, like my own Representative John Garamendi, to act now and pass legislation that reinstitutes the protections this decision puts at risk.
Dori Wolf, Woodland, CA