Dialysis machine in a medical center

After I received a kidney transplant, I wrote a letter to the family of my donor expressing my immense gratitude. My journey with end stage renal disease took a toll, and the transplant marked a new beginning. I moved to Kansas City, began working full time and started a family.

I received dialysis — a treatment three times per week to replace my kidney function — for almost seven years before receiving a transplant. I am extremely thankful for dialysis, but it was exhausting.

I qualified for Medicare and Medicaid for the entirety of my dialysis journey, but others rely on private insurance to pay for health care expenses. Surprisingly, the Supreme Court recently opened the door for insurers to push new dialysis patients off of their plans before they’re prepared to navigate Medicare. This brings added financial stress to patients in the tumultuous beginning months of care. Many patients get stuck with exorbitant bills they can’t afford.

Missouri Rep. Emanuel Cleaver should support the Restore Protections for Dialysis Patients Act, which would ensure dialysis patients can stay on their private insurance for the first 30 months of care, a protection granted by Congress for nearly 30 years.

Cole Cato, Kansas City, Missouri