Living with kidney disease, undergoing dialysis, and ultimately traveling out-of-state to receive a kidney transplant provided me with a harsh lesson in how challenging life with End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) can be both physically and financially.

It’s already difficult having to go through all these treatments even before considering the financial burdens that come with them. The costs are a lot for patients, and many of them are hit with bills they simply can’t afford.

As those costs pile up, patients can become ineligible for treatments that they need, and even can be excluded from getting a transplant. This especially affects younger patients because so many don’t have coverage. These burdens don’t just hit patients either – they hit entire families.

Change can be on the way though, thanks to a new bipartisan bill called the Jack Reynolds Memorial Medigap Expansion Act.

By opening Medigap coverage to ESRD patients under 65, it would mean patients right here in New York and across the country could finally receive the coverage they’ve been lacking and be free to focus on the most important thing: their health.

This is an issue that affects both sides politically, and we need everyone to come together to pass this bill for the sake of dialysis patients and their families.

It’s a bipartisan issue that we can all get behind, and I hope to see Representative Yvette Clarke and New York’s other members of Congress add their names to this bill to help to provide ESRD patients and hopeful transplant recipients with the coverage they need.