→ Would regulate the for-profit dialysis centers by creating measures that require physician oversight and supervision, mandate reporting requirements, and prevent clinics from denying care.
No, you’re not getting deja vu. Dialysis is on the ballot once again. Prop 29 represents the third consecutive clash between SEIU-United Healthcare Workers West, who are advocating for better protections for dialysis patients and health employees, and the for-profit kidney dialysis clinics, who are resistant to regulation and oversight.
Prop 29 is basically a law that would regulate medical practices in order to safeguard and benefit patients, as well as limit medical expenses. It’s hard to imagine anyone would be against that. But you know who is against it? DaVita and other large, for-profit dialysis companies.
Through a combination of fear tactics and huge election spending, DaVita was able to defeat the previous two ballot attempts to reform the dialysis industry. They threatened that costs would go up. They threatened that clinics would close. They threatened that patients would be denied treatments. It’s like Lucy pulling away the football, except in this case, the football is a lifesaving medical regimen.
Just as we supported the previous two dialysis reform ballot measures, ACCE supports Prop 29. At ACCE, we’ve got family and loved ones who are dialysis patients, who rely on regular dialysis treatments just to go on living their lives. Of course they deserve to be protected, and of course they deserve the best treatment possible without having to worry about cost. We’ve seen and experienced firsthand the spread of infection within some of these for-profit dialysis clinics. Under Prop 29, dialysis clinics would be required to report infection data to the state. And as far as DaVita’s threats that they will be forced to shut down sites, we’re not having it. Under Prop 29, clinics would be prohibited from closing without state approval.
By continuing to support dialysis reform, we’re sticking by our values. We support protections for all workers—healthcare workers included—and in particular, we support their right to unionize and bargain collectively. We support increasing access to healthcare and decreasing costs, all the while continuing to move towards universal, single-payer healthcare. We certainly support holding giant corporations accountable. And we support Prop 29.