By Troy Zimmerman, National Kidney Foundation’s Vice President of Government Relations
On July 13, Senate Republican leaders unveiled a revised version of their healthcare reform bill. Previously, the National Kidney Foundation stated its opposition to the Senate Better Care Reconciliation Act, as it would reduce access to preventive and life-saving care for people at risk of, or with, chronic kidney disease. We remain opposed to this bill despite the latest changes.
Most significantly, the new bill allows insurance companies to offer plans that are non-compliant with the Affordable Care Act as long as those companies continue to also offer plans that are ACA-compliant in the same geographic area. Many observers, including the National Kidney Foundation, believe this would result in younger, healthier people enrolling in non-ACA compliant plans, making the ACA-compliant plans, which offer more benefits, unaffordable.
Furthermore, the revised proposal includes reductions to Medicaid similar to those in the first reform bill, which could leave many low-income people without access to health insurance and health care services, including preventive care necessary for slowing the progression of chronic kidney disease. As state Medicaid budgets are tightened, states might reduce the populations they cover and eliminate expensive benefits such as dialysis treatments.
We are opposed to the bill for reasons stated above and the potential impact on individuals with kidney disease. If you would like to write your Senators and express opposition to the bill you can do so by clicking here.