For 10 years, I acted as my father’s in-home dialysis provider, and having the chance to be there for him was one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. While he passed away last year, I’ve been able to channel that energy into helping and educating other patients who are in the same position he was.

Caring for my father, along with my experiences as a nurse and my recent schooling to become a health education specialist, opened my eyes to a lot of disparities affecting our health system that have serious ramifications for dialysis patients. So many patients simply don’t have access to the coverage they need – or even information on how to get it – that they end up with devastating bills if Medicare doesn’t cover medication or treatment they need.

I’m encouraged, though, to see that Congress is working on a bill to help. The Jack Reynolds Memorial Medigap Expansion Act would expand coverage for the gap left by what Medicare doesn’t cover to dialysis patients under 65, many of whom can’t get that coverage right now.

Now, I hope Minnesota’s members of Congress do their part in helping to pass this bill and expand coverage to the dialysis patients who need it. With such a big coverage gap, many patients put off the care they need, and passing this bill will be a crucial step in helping to finally ensure they can.

Ramona Banks, St Paul, Minnesota