After three difficult years on dialysis, I received a kidney transplant last fall through the Department of Veteran Affairs as a Marine Corps veteran. While I don’t have dialysis treatments anymore, I keep touch with everyone I met at my dialysis center and find new ways to help patients. In these conversations, one topic seems to come up more than just about any other: high costs.

Navigating Medicare, which many dialysis patients need for treatments, is a tricky and confusing process that gets more complicated if you don’t have Medigap insurance to cover what Medicare doesn’t. Sadly, that’s the reality for thousands of patients under 65 who don’t receive Medigap coverage already. That reality could change, though, if Congress passes the Jack Reynolds Memorial Medigap Expansion Act.

This bipartisan bill would extend Medigap coverage to those kidney patients under 65 who don’t qualify for it right now, helping to alleviate costs for struggling patients and their families. It’s a much-needed solution that I hope Texas’ representatives, like El Paso Congresswoman Veronica Escobar, support.

Not everyone can qualify for a transplant in the same way I did, so I want to do my part in helping to make their experiences on dialysis easier. This bill would be a major step forward, and it’s one I hope lawmakers come together to pass.

Michael Thompson, East El Paso, Texas

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