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This Legislation Watch on RenalWEB tracks pending dialysis-related legislation at both federal and state levels. Features include links to bill summaries, sample letters to send legislators, related news articles, and position papers from contributors. You can access information by clicking on the links listed to the left of this paragraph.

The latest federal budget surplus estimates show that there is less money than previously anticipated to fund the government’s programs. As a result, competition for federal healthcare dollars will be fierce. Therefore, participation in lobbying and letter writing to legislators are more important this year than they have ever been.

If you are interested providing a sample letter or supporting information for any legislation, please contact RenalWEB at renalweb@renalweb.com.

 

 


  LATEST NEWS AND ACTION ITEMS

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Health Stocks Crumble as Fears of 'Medicare for All' Snowball - Article from Bloomberg. - April 16, 2019

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'Medicare for All' Keeps Defining 2020 Political Landscape - Article from Roll Call. News brief from the American Hospital Association. Article from Kaiser Health News. - April 12, 2019

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House Panel Probes High Cost of Insulin - News brief from the American Hospital Association. - April 10, 2019

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'I Don't Know How You People Sleep at Night': Visibly Irate Lawmakers Blast Pharma, PBMs over Insulin Prices - Article from STAT. News summary from Kaiser Health News. - April 10, 2019

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Bandages Will Not Fix a Fractured System of Chronic Kidney Disease Care: Why the Dialysis PATIENTS Demonstration Act Cannot Be Supported by the Transplant Community - Free, full-text editorial from the American Journal of Transplantation. - April 2019

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Medicaid Expansion Boosts Hospital Bottom Lines — And Prices - Article from Kaiser Health News. - March 27, 2019

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Trump Administration And Democrats Return Health Law To Political Center Stage - Article and news summary from Kaiser Health News. - March 26, 2019

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DOJ Drops Its Partial ACA Defense, Argues Entire Law Should Fall - Articles from HealthLeaders Media and The Hill. - March 25, 2019

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In Third Suit Against Medicaid Work Requirements, Plaintiffs Say Trump Administration Is ‘Bypassing Legislative Process’ - News summary from Kaiser Health News. - March 21, 2019

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ASN and AAKP Advocates Are on Capitol Hill Urging Congress to Support KidneyX - Press release from the American Society of Nephrology. Related article from Kidney News Online. Links and Twitter:  - March 18, 2019

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Congress, the Administration, and Kidney Care Community Must Further Improve Care for 30 Million Americans - Opinion piece from The Hill. Related press release from Renal Care Partners. - March 18, 2019
"In Congress, a bipartisan group of lawmakers in the House and Senate are working on an updated version of the 2018 Chronic Kidney Disease Improvement in Research & Treatment Act that will be introduced later this year."

Editor's note: Again, no mention of renal rehabilitation.  US nephrology is stuck in its thinking like polio doctors were back in the 1930s. What US dialysis care needs is an Elizabeth Kenny (ask Martin Sheen and Alan Alda!).

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Statement of the American Society of Nephrology (ASN) President Mark E. Rosenberg, M.D., FASN, on HHS Secretary Azar's Announcement on Immunosuppressive Coverage for Kidney Transplants - Press release. - March 15, 2019

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FDA Medical Adviser: 'Congress Is Owned by Pharma' - Article from Yahoo Finance. - March 13, 2019

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News Summaries from Kaiser Health News - March 12, 2019

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Medicare-for-All v. Medicare-for-Less: Trump's Proposed Cuts Put Health Care at Center of 2020 Race - Article from The Washington Post. Article from The Hill. News brief from the American Hospital Association. - March 12, 2019

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Medicare Immunosuppressive Drug Coverage Bills—Can We Afford Them? - (6-page pdf) Free, full-text, Accepted Article from American Journal of Transplantation by Vanessa Grubbs, MD. - March 8, 2019

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U.S. Seeks to Cut Dialysis Costs with More Home Care Versus Clinics - Articles from Reuters and Seeking Alpha. - March 3, 2019

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Senators Tell FDA to Speed up Approvals of Generic Insulin - Article from The Hill. - March 1, 2019

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House Hearing Highlights Bill to Protect Health Care Workers from Violence - News brief from American Hospital Association. - February 28, 2019

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Democrats To Unveil Ambitious ‘Medicare For All’ Plan That Would Shift Americans Onto One Government Insurer Over Two Years - News summary from Kaiser Health News. - February 27, 2019

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As ‘Medicare For All’ Gains Popularity, Health Industry Quietly Assembles Small Army Of Lobbyists To Try To Kill It - News summary from Kaiser Health News. - February 25, 2019

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Powerful Senate Committee Launches Bipartisan Probe into Insulin Pricing - Articles from STAT and Kaiser Health News. Additional article from STAT. - February 22, 2019

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National Kidney Foundation Applauds Congressional Champions for Legislation to Protect Living Organ Donors - Press release. - February 14, 2019

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‘Guns Are No Longer The Third Rail’ Of Politics: How The Debate Has Shifted Dramatically In The Past Ten Years - News summary from Kaiser Health News. - February 13, 2019

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Large Insulin Price Hike to Be Investigated by U.S. Congress - Article from HealthDay. - January 29, 2019

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House Holds Hearing on Protecting Americans with Pre-Existing Conditions - News brief from the American Hospital Association. - January 29, 2019

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The Midterm's Biggest Winners: Medicaid And Rural America - Posting from the Health Affairs blog. - January 25, 2019

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House Dems Open Investigation Into Pharma's Drug Pricing Strategies, Calling The Probe One Of The Broadest In Decades - News Summary from Kaiser Health News - January 15, 2019

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Pelosi Supports Holding Hearings on 'Medicare for All' - Article from The Hill. - January 3, 2019

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With Senate Votes, Trump Gets a Permanent Drug Czar — and His First Science Adviser - Article from STAT. - January 2, 2019


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  STATE LEGISLATION

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NKF Statement on Landmark Legislation Signed by Oklahoma Governor to Protect Living Organ Donors - Press release from the National Kidney Foundation. - April 11, 2019

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Bill to Protect Organ Donors Advances in California Assembly Committee - Article from Healio. - April 5, 2019

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Trump Says Vote on Healthcare Can Wait until after 2020 Election - Articles from Reuters and The Hill. - April 1, 2019

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Republicans On Hill Quietly Hope Trump Forgets Promise That They Are Working On ‘Spectacular’ Replacement Plan - News summary from Kaiser Health News. - April 1, 2019

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Trump's Health Overhaul Efforts Hit Legal Roadblocks - Article from The Hill. - March 30, 2019

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KidneyX Scores Major Victories in Congress and Administration - Article from ASN's Kidney News Online. Press release from Kidney Care Partners. - March 28, 2019
Editor's note: When did ASN begin writing Trump-style propaganda headlines?

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Armed With Federal Waivers, Red States Are Steadily Chipping Away At Their Medicaid Rolls With Added Rules - News summary from Kaiser Health News. - March 26, 2019

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RPA Opposes California Bill to Cap Dialysis Reimbursement - Notice from the Renal Physicians Association. - March 25, 2019

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Articles from The Hill - March 21, 2019

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California Bill to Restrict Dialysis Profits Advances - Article from Healio. California Assembly Bill No. 290. Article from Modern Healthcare. - March 20, 2019

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Five Pieces of Legislation to Watch - Article from the Chronic Disease Coalition. - March 12, 2019

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Progressives Tout ‘Medicare-For-All’ But States Eye ‘Medicaid Buy-In’ - Articles from Kaiser Health News and Reuters. - February 26, 2019

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After a Governor Veto and Failed Ballot Initiative, California Legislator Reintroduces Plan to Limit Dialysis Provider Profits - Articles from Healio and State of Reform. - January 30, 2019

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Medicaid Expansion Gains Momentum — Postelection Prospects and Potential Implications - Free, full-text, New Online viewpoint article from the Journal of the American Medical Association. - January 3, 2019

 

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  FIND YOUR LEGISLATORS

U.S. Representatives: You can locate your U.S. Representative

U.S. Senators: You can locate your U.S. Senators

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  FEDERAL LEGISLATION 116th CONGRESS (2019-2020)

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H 16 - Recognizing the importance of access to comprehensive, high-quality, life-affirming medical care for women of all ages

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H 81 - To amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to allow an above-the-line deduction for health insurance premiums

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H 90 - Protection from Obamacare Mandates and Congressional Equity Act
To amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to provide an exemption to the individual mandate to maintain health coverage for individuals residing in counties with fewer than 2 health insurance issuers offering plans on an Exchange; to require Members of Congress and congressional staff to abide by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act with respect to health insurance coverage; and for other purposes.

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new S 99 - Medicare Drug Price Negotiation Act
To amend title XVIII of the Social Security Act to provide for the negotiation of lower covered part D drug prices on behalf of Medicare beneficiaries and the establishment and application of a formulary by the Secretary of Health and Human Services under Medicare part D, and for other purposes.

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H 1224 & S 511 - The Living Donor Protection Act of 2019
To promote and protect from discrimination living organ donors.

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new H 1309 - To direct the Secretary of Labor to issue an occupational safety and health standard that requires covered employers within the health care and social service industries to develop and implement a comprehensive workplace violence prevention plan, and for other purposes

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new H 1384 - To establish an improved Medicare for All national health insurance program.

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  LOBBYING AND LETTER WRITING

It is important to convince Senators and Representatives to cosponsor the bill through grassroots letters and lobbying. A bill that has wide, bipartisan support in both the House and Senate has a better chance of being enacted into law. When the House and Senate leaders choose bills to include in a Medicare package, they will look for bills that have cosponsors from a variety of geographic locations, from both political parties, and support from Members on the Committees that have jurisdiction over the program being effected.

Do not e-mail your Member of Congress, but instead take the time to type or hand write a letter. ("Copy and paste" the sample letters to save time and then edit them appropriately.) It will get a much better response from your Senators and Representatives. Messages coming from the people who elected them really do receive the most attention and are an effective educational tool.


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 CONGRESSIONAL COMMITTEES

Congress.gov - Legislative Information on the Internet from the Library of Congress

House of Representatives - Homepage

Senate - Homepage

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 OTHER RESOURCES

Advocacy & Government Relations from the National Kidney Foundation web site
Kidney Care Partners web site

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