With summer temperatures on the rise, so too are kidney care issues both nationally and in California, where dialysis policies in particular remain hot button topics despite the defeat of Proposition 8 last November by a relatively wide margin.
In an effort to protect dialysis patients’ access to quality care, DPC continues to elevate the patient voice with policy makers while also committing even more resources on the ground. In fact, DPC recently established a new advocacy office in Sacramento less than a block from the State Capitol. We also hired Kelly Goss to serve as DPC’s new California State Advocacy Manager.
Goss is an experienced policy advocate and a Sacramento native who recently returned to California after having spent two decades working in Washington, DC, and Boston. In her day-to-day role, she engages with legislative and elected officials, kidney care partners, patients and others to educate people about dialysis issues, advocate on policy issues that improve patient quality of life and help to elevate the voice of patients. She is also working to grow DPC’s membership in California.
In recent weeks, Goss and other DPC staff have held dozens of meetings with California legislative officials and staff, attended hearings at the state capitol and submitted testimony on legislative bills of interest. DPC supports California legislation (AB 1223) that aims to increase access to kidney transplants by strengthening protections for living organ donors. However, DPC strongly opposes California legislation (AB 290) that would cut the reimbursement rates that private insurance companies pay to cover dialysis care and thereby threatens to disrupt the provider network that dialysis patients rely on and lower the quality of care that dialysis patients depend on to survive. AB 290 would also eliminate charitable assistance which helps more than 3,600 low-income patients in California to pay for their healthcare expenses.
DPC will continue to educate and advocate on behalf of dialysis patients in California and beyond, and we hope you will take an opportunity to get involved or visit us at DPC’s new California advocacy office.