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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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Legislators Call on HHS to Reconsider Proposed Cuts to Access Procedures - Article from Healio. - October 16, 2018

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McConnell: GOP Could Try to Repeal Obamacare Again after Midterms - Article from The Hill. - October 17, 2018

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Drugmakers Funnel Millions To Lawmakers; A Few Dozen Get $100,000-Plus - Article and tracking tool from Kaiser Health News. - October 16, 2018

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News Summaries from Kaiser Health News - October 12, 2018

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Open Enrollment Is Coming, Congress Continues Battle Over Preexisting Condition Protections - Posting from the Health Affairs blog. - October 9, 2018

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Senate Sends Sweeping Opioid Package To Trump To Sign; Advocates Laud Legislation's Focus On Treatment - News Summaries from Kaiser Health News - October 4, 2018

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Trump Signs FY 2019 Appropriations Package That Includes Several Wins for the Kidney Community - Tweet from @ASNAdvocacy. - September 28, 2018

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Congressional Kidney Caucus Briefing Highlights Innovation in Kidney Care - Summaries of Sept. 28 meeting from Kidney News Online and Kidney Care Partners. - September 28, 2018

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ASN, Kidney Health Organizations Ask Congress to Increase Investment in Kidney Disease Research, Support Innovations in Kidney Medicine - Press release from the American Society of Nephrology.  - September 27, 2018

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Buried In Congress' Opioid Bill Is Protection For Personal Drug Imports - Article from Kaiser Health News. - September 27, 2018

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Measure Hiking ESRD Patients' Time On Private Coverage Not In Opioid Deal - Article extract only from InsideHealthPolicy.com. - September 26, 2018

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House, Senate Negotiators Release Final Opioid Package - News brief from the American Hospital Association. See page 77 (660-page pdf) of proposed legislation for reference to home dialysis therapy. Article from The Hill. - September 26, 2018

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AAKP Twitter Posting on the Dialysis PATIENTS Demonstration Act - Sept. 16 tweet from the American Association of Kidney Patients. - September 16, 2018

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Senate Passes Defense-Labor-HHS Funding Package - News brief from the American Hospital Association. - September 18, 2018

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Senate Passes Bipartisan Bill to Curb Opioid Crisis - Article from The Hill. - September 17, 2018

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House Approves Four Medicare-Related Bills - News brief from the American Hospital Association. - September 13, 2018

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CBO: House GOP Bill Delaying Key Parts of Obamacare Will Cost over $50 Billion - Article from The Hill. - September 11, 2018

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Unwitting Patients, Copycat Comments Play Hidden Role In Federal Rule-Making - Article from Kaiser Health News. - September 11, 2018

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Free, Full-Text, New Online Articles from the Journal of the American Medical Association - September 6, 2018

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The $109,000 Heart Attack Bill Is Down To $332. What About Other Surprise Bills? - Article from Kaiser Health News. - August 31, 2018

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Job Security for Living Organ Donation Guaranteed under Family and Medical Leave Act - News release from the National Kidney Foundation on a new opinion letter from the U.S. Department of Labor. - August 28, 2018

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NIH Gets Big Boost In Spending Bill - News summary from Kaiser Health News. - August 24, 2018

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GAO Tells Administration To Do More To Manage Health Law Sign-Ups, But Also Praises Some Of Its Efforts - News summary from Kaiser Health News. - August 23, 2018

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American Society of Nephrology (ASN) Opposes Dialysis PATIENTS Demonstration Act - News item from Kidney News Online. Policy position from the ASN Legislative Action Center. H.R. 4143 status from Congress.gov. 
Editor's note: DaVita and Fresenius both support H.R. 4143. Here is an editorial by Dr. Allen Nissenson, CMO of DaVita, supporting the Dialysis PATIENTS Demonstration Act. Also see this Fresenius Medical Care web page with videos supporting H.R. 4143.

Opposing the PATIENTS Act, see these blog postings from dialysis patients Bill Peckham and Michael Fraase and this press release from the largest non-profit dialysis provider DCI.

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Congressional Action to Support Living Organ Donation in the Family and Medical Leave Act - Posting from the NKF Advocacy in Action blog. - June 28, 2018

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Legislation Aims to Revise Medicare Administrative Contractors Process in Local Coverage Determination - Article from Healio. - June 27, 2018

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NKF Statement on Congressional Action to Support Living Organ Donation in Family and Medical Leave Act - Press release from the National Kidney Foundation. - June 26, 2018

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Law Aims To Help Medicare Tackle Expensive Problem Of Costs From Chronic Illnesses - Articles/Summaries from Kaiser Health News - June 25, 2018

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Changes to Chronic Kidney Care Medicare Coverage in Passed House Legislation - Article from Kidney News Online. - June 22, 2018
"A last-minute addition to the legislative package in the House would extend by three months the period people with chronic kidney failure must wait before they become eligible for Medicare coverage."

Editor's note: Politicians must feed their benefactors. Junk-bond nephrology continues to drive U.S. dialysis care public policy.

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House Passes Bill to Fight Opioid Crisis - June 25, 2018

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Integrating Medical and Nonmedical Services — The Promise and Pitfalls of the CHRONIC Care Act - Free, full-text perspective piece from the New England Journal of Medicine. - June 7, 2018

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Medicare Financial Outlook Worsens - Article from Kaiser Health News. News brief from the American Hospital Association. CMS press release. - June 5, 2018

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House Passes Right To Try, Sending Bill To The President's Desk - Article extract from InsideHealthPolicy.com. Article from HealthLeaders Media. - May 22, 2018

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Uninsured Rate Remains Basically Flat Despite Republicans' Attempts To Chip Away at Health Law - News summary from Kaise Health News. - May 22, 2018

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Despite Skyrocketing Incidence of Kidney Disease and Kidney Failure, Government Investment Remains Inadequate - Opinion piece from Kidney Care Partners via The Hill. - May 12, 2018

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HHS Head Azar Requested Less Money Than Congress Gave the Agency - Article from Healthcare Finance. - May 10, 2018

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Senators Probe 'Enormous' Insulin Price Spikes - (Registration required, but free.) Article from MedPage Today. - May 8, 2018

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American Society of Nephrology (ASN), along with 36 Kidney Organizations, Signed Letter to Senate Appropriations for Additional Kidney Research Funding at NIH - Article and letter (2-page pdf) from Kidney News Online. - April 23, 2018

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AHIP Sees SCOTUS Ruling as a Win for Generic Drugs - Article from HealthLeaders Media - April 25, 2018

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Articles from The Hill - April 21, 2018

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Bernie Sanders Introduces Bill to Impose Jail Time for Execs behind Opioid Crisis - Article from STAT. - April 17, 2018

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Pharma's Anti-Competitive Tactics That Stymie Generics Drugmakers Targeted By Officials, Lawmakers - News summary from Kaiser Health News. - April 16, 2018

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Trump Administration Issues Rule Further Watering down Obamacare - Article from Reuters. Press release from CMS. Article from The Hill. Related podcast from Kaiser Health News. - April 9, 2018

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National Kidney Foundation Applauds Bi-Partisan Funding for Kidney Health in Omnibus Spending Bill - Press release. - March 23, 2018

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Funding for Kidney Health in the Omnibus Bill - Posting from the NKF's Advocacy in Action blog. - March 22, 2018

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News Summaries from Kaiser Health News. - March 21, 2018

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House Passes 'Right to Try' Drug Bill - Article from The Hill. - March 21, 2018

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Right to Try Legislation Fails; Why Keeping the FDA Central to the Expanded Access Process Is the Right Move - Press release from the WCG Foundation. Article from STAT. - March 13, 2018

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GOP Actions May Spur Huge ACA Premium Hikes - News brief from Healthcare DIVE. - March 12, 2018

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Protecting Donors and Safeguarding Altruism in the United States — The Living Donor Protection Act - Free, CJASN Express Articles. - March 2018

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Kidney Care Partners Calls for Passage of "Chronic Kidney Disease Improvement in Research and Treatment Act" - Press release. - March 2018

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Nurses Applaud Introduction of Federal Legislation to Prevent Workplace Violence in Health Care Facilities - News release from National Nurses United. - March 8, 2018

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News Summaries from Kaiser Health News - March 2, 2018

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ACA's Popularity Grows, Even As GOP Lauds Change To Requirement To Have Coverage - Article from Kaiser Health News. - March 1, 2018

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As Feds Chip Away At Health Law, Where You Live Will More And More Determine Access, Quality Of Care - News summary from Kaiser Health News. - February 28, 2018

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Ding Dong! The Obamacare Tax Penalty Is(n't) Dead - Article from Kaiser Health News. - February 28, 2018

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News Summaries from Kaiser Health News - February 27, 2018

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Congress Should Replace Medicare's Merit-Based Incentive Payment System - Posting from Health Affairs blog. - February 26, 2018

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Congress Solved Kansas' Dialysis Clinic Delays. Will the Solution Be Good for Patients? - Article from The Kansas City Star. Related video and article from KSNT. - February 23, 2018

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Articles from The Hill - February 22, 2018

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Trump Eases Limits On Short-Term Plans That Critics Call 'Junk Insurance' In Latest Blow To Health Law - News summary from Kaiser Health News. - February 21, 2018

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Bill Extending Emergency Professional Liability Across States Advances - News brief from the American Hospital Association. - February 15, 2018

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Work-For-Medicaid Lifts Off In Indiana, But Even Fans Fret About Red Tape - 10-minute video and transcript by PBS News Hour and Kaiser Health News. - February 14, 2018

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Trumps' Budget Gives HHS a $95.4 Billion Budget: CDC Faces Big Cut, But NIH And FDA Get A Boost - News summary from Kaiser Health News. - February 13, 2018

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Budget Deal Stuffed Full Of Health Provisions: Community Health Centers, IPAB, The ‘Doughnut Hole’ And More - News summary from Kaiser Health News. News brief from Healthcare DIVE. - February 9, 2018

H.R. 1892 — Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 has been signed by President Trump. There are four dialysis-related provisions:

  • SEC. 50302 - Expanding Access to Home Dialysis Therapy
  • SEC. 50403 - Independent Accreditation for Dialysis Facilities and Assurance of High Quality Surveys
  • SEC. 50311 - Providing Continued Access to Medicare Advantage Special Needs Plans for Vulnerable Populations
  • SEC. 53108 - Reduction for Non-Emergency ESRD Ambulance Transports
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KCP Applauds Bipartisan Congressional Budget Deal Expanding Medicare Coverage Options for Dialysis Patients - Press release from Kidney Care Partners.  - February 9, 2018

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SURPRISE! Popular Bill to Fight Drug Prices Left out of Budget Deal - Article from The Hill. - February 8, 2018

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Congress Poised to Kill Medicare Board Smeared as 'Death Panel' - Article from HealthLeaders Media. - February 8, 2018

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Can Work Be Required in the Medicaid Program? - Free, full-text, perspective piece from the New England Journal of Medicine. - February 7, 2018

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Government Funding Measure Could Contain Telehealth Provision for Dialysis; Level Playing Field for Biosimilars - Article from BioWorld. - February 2018
"As part of an effort to improve outcomes for patients needing chronic care, the CR (continuing resolution) contains several provisions to expand the use of telehealth technologies, including at-home dialysis equipment that could be used to monitor patients. Although many Medicare patients receiving home dialysis treatments have hi-tech equipment that their providers could use to monitor their condition, current law prevents that use under Medicare. The CR would remove that prohibition, according to a House summary."

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News Summaries from Kaiser Health News - February 5, 2018

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ACO Results Prove Good for Kidney Patients, Medicare; Congress Must Pass the Dialysis PATIENTS Act - Blog entry from The Hill. - February 5, 2018
Editor's note: This was written by the CEO of Dialysis Patients Citizens, originally known as DaVita Patients Citizens. This legislation is known in Washington as the "DaVita Bill."

This legislation is opposed by the largest non-profit dialysis provider DCI, which has had the best mortality and hospitalization results among large dialysis providers for 14 consecutive years.

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Indiana Gets Federal Approval For Medicaid Plan That Could Slice Enrollment - Article from Kaiser Health News. - February 2, 2018

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Trump Makes No Calls for ObamaCare Repeal in State of the Union - Article from The Hill. - January 30, 2018

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Analysis: US Medicaid Work Rules Face Tough Legal Challenges, Experts Say - Article from Reuters and news summary from Kaiser Health News. - January 25, 2018

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Senate Advances Trump's HHS Secretary Nominee - Article from The Hill. - January 23, 2018

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Out-of-Pocket Spending and Premium Contributions After Implementation of the Affordable Care Act - Free, full-text, New Online article from JAMA Internal Medicine. - January 22, 2018

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CHIP Renewed For Six Years As Congress Votes To Reopen Federal Government - Article from Kaiser Health News. - January 22, 2018

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Obamacare Helping Poor Families the Most - Article from HealthDay. - January 22, 2018

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Articles from HealthLeaders Media - January 20, 2018

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Top Democrat Presses CMS Administrator Varma on Potential Ethics Violation - Article from The Hill. - January 19, 2018

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Trump Administration Plans Review of Stark Law Regulations - News brief from Healthcare DIVE. - January 18, 2018

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Health Care Issues Being Used As Bargaining Chips For Both Sides As Congress Tries To Avoid Shutdown - News summary from Kaiser Health News. - January 18, 2018

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Azar Nomination for HHS Secretary Advances to Full Senate - News brief from the American Hospital Association. - January 17, 2018

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UnitedHealth Expects $1.7B Windfall From Republicans' Tax Bill For Next Year - News summary from Kaiser Health News. - January 17, 2018

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Right to Try Legislation Offers False Hope and Would Endanger Patients - Free, full-text opinion piece from STAT. - January 16, 2018

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Free, Full-Text, Online First Perspective Pieces from the New England Journal Of Medicine - January 10, 2018

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Tweet on Dialysis PATIENTS Care Demostration Act Legislation from the Nonprofit Kidney Care Alliance (NKCA) - NKCA web site. - January 8, 2018
"As nonprofit dialysis providers, we oppose H.R. 4143 http://bit.ly/2AM7bTq  /S. 2065 http://bit.ly/2AMYDM5 , the #DialysisPATIENTSAct, as we feel integrated care should truly be innovative & best for all patients."

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Dr. Allen R. Nissenson (Chief Medical Officer at For-Profit DaVita Kidney Care) Takes Helm As New Chair of Kidney Care Partners = Press release. - January 8, 2018
"Dr. Nissenson succeeds outgoing chairman Dr. Frank Maddux, Chief Medical Officer for Fresenius Medical Care North America, who served from 2015 to the end of 2017."

Editor's note: Here is an editorial by Dr. Nissenson supporting the Dialysis PATIENTS Demonstration Act. Here is a web page from Fresenius Medical Care with videos also supporting the Dialysis PATIENTS Demonstration Act.

Opposing the PATIENTS Act, see these blog postings from dialysis patient Bill Peckham and this press release from the largest non-profit dialysis provider DCI.

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Senate Passes VETS Act, Would Enable VA Providers to Offer Telehealth across State Lines - Article from Healthcare IT News. - January 4, 2018

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Articles from The Hill - December 31, 2017

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Week Ahead: Lawmakers Push Big Health Care Decisions to 2018 - Article from The Hill. - December 25, 2017

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Bonus Tucked Into GOP Tax Bill For Those Aiming To Deduct Medical Expenses - Article from Kaiser Health News. - December 22, 2017

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Fresenius Sees Book Gain of 90 Million Euros from U.S. Tax Reform in 2017 - Article from Reuters. Press release from Fresenius Medical Care. - December 22, 2017

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Children's Insurance, Other Health Programs Funded — For Now - Article from Kaiser Health News. - December 22, 2017

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States Say Short-Term Funding Not Enough for Children's Health - Article from The Hill. - December 22, 2017

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The Tax Bill And The Individual Mandate: What Happened, And What Does It Mean? - Posting from the Health Affairs blog. - December 20, 2017

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The Affordable Care Act, Medicaid Expansion, and Disparities in Kidney Disease - Free, Full-Text, CJASN Express Article - December 19, 2017

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When Tax Reform Becomes Law, ACA's Individual Mandate Becomes History - Article from HealthDay. - December 19, 2017

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Obamacare Mandate Repeal Would Put Pressure on States - Article from The Hill - December 17, 2017

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Postings from the Dialysis from the Sharp End of the Needle Blog - December 16-17, 2017

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Obamacare Insurance Options Dwindle for Neediest U.S. Patients - Article from Reuters. - December 6, 2017

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States — and 9M Kids — 'in a Bind' as Congress Dawdles on Children's Health Insurance Program Funding - Article from NPR via Kaiser Health News. - December 4, 2017

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Tax Bill Could Fuel Push for Medicare, Social Security Cuts - Article from The Hill. - December 3, 2017

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Free, Full-Text Articles from American Journal of Transplantation  - December 2017

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Healthcare Industry Braces for Multiple Hits from Senate Tax Bill - (Registration required, but free.) Article from Modern Healthcare. Article from Kaiser Health News. - November 30, 2017
"The sprawling tax cut legislation speeding through Congress is likely to result in major changes in healthcare, including significant insurance coverage losses, higher premiums, tighter access to capital and greater margin pressure for not-for-profit health systems."

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Joint RPA, ASN, ASPN Letter on Draft CKD Legislation - (2-page pdf) Letter from the Renal Physicians Association, the American Society of Nephrology and the American Society of Pediatric Nephrology on H.R. 3867. - November 28, 2017

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Trump Backs Bipartisan Fixes to Obamacare Markets ¦ Sanders Proposes Lifting Medicaid Cap for Puerto Rico ¦ Patient Groups Urge Senate to Reject Mandate Repeal - Article from The Hill.  - November 28, 2017

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Five Health-Care Fights Facing Congress in December - Article from The Hill. - November 26, 2017

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Trump Administration Plan to Add Medicaid Work Requirement Stirs Fears - Article from Kaiser Health News. - November 15, 2017

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ACA Plan Affordability May Eclipse Lack of Marketing - Article from HFMA. - November 14, 2017

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Senate GOP Tax Bill Will Include Repeal of Obamacare Mandate - Article from The Hill. - November 14, 2017

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U.S. President Trump Nominates Former HHS Deputy Secretary Alex Azar As Agency's Next Secretary - News summary from Kaiser Daily Global Healthy Policy Report. His nomination is opposed by Sen. Bernie Sanders and National Nurses United. - November 13, 2017

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The Dialysis PATIENTS Demonstration Act Could Harm the Future of Care for Patients with Kidney Disease - Press release from Dialysis Clinics, Inc. (DCI). - November 9, 2017

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AST-Endorsed VA Transplant Coverage Act Passes House of Representatives - News brief from the American Society of Transplantation. - November 7, 2017

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Insurers Step up Pitch for Obamacare As Government Slashes Its Effort - Article from Reuters. - November 6, 2017

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Republicans' Tax Plan A Mixed Bag For Health Care - News summary from Kaiser Health News. - November 3, 2017

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U.S. House Approves Funding for Children's Healthcare Program - Article from Reuters. - November 3, 2017

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Legislation Introduced in Congress: Dialysis PATIENTS Demonstration Act of 2017 - HR 4143 was (re)introduced in the House of Representatives on October 25th. S 2065 was introduced in the Senate on November 2nd.  - November 2, 2017

In late September, the Chronic Kidney Disease Improvement in Research and Treatment Act of 2017 was introduced in the Senate (S 1890). Related press release from Kidney Care Partners.
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House Tax Bill Would Scrap Deduction For Medical Expenses - Article from Kaiser Health News. - November 2, 2017

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Timeline: Roadblocks To Affordable Care Act Enrollment - Article from Kaiser Health News. - November 1, 2017

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5 Things To Know About ACA At Year 5 - Article from Kaiser Health News. - October 31, 2017

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Articles from The Hill - October 25, 2017

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‘Do The Math, Baby’: Senators Seem To Have Secured 60 Votes For Bipartisan Health Bill - News summary from Kaiser Health News. - October 20, 2017

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White House Says Trump Opposes Senate's Bipartisan Obamacare Deal - Article from Reuters. News summary from Kaiser Health News. - October 18, 2017

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Hatch Deals Blow to Bipartisan Health Care Bill - Posting from Roll Call. - October 18, 2017

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Free, Full-Text, Online First Perspective Pieces from the New England Journal Of Medicine - October 18, 2017

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Key Senators Reach Deal on Resuming Payments to Health Insurers after Trump Blocked Them - Articles from STAT, HealthDay, and Kaiser Health News. - October 17, 2017

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National Kidney Foundation Statement on President Trump's Executive Order to Amend Affordable Care Act - News release. - October 12, 2017

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Statement from Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Administrator Seema Verma on Signing of Executive Order - October 12, 2017

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MedPAC Recommends Congress Eliminate MIPS Payment Track in MACRA - Article from Healthcare Finance. News brief from Healthcare DIVE. - October 6, 2017

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Trump Told HHS To Deny Request To Fix Iowa ObamaCare Market: Report - Article and video from The Hill. - October 5, 2017

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Senate Budget Resolution Whacks Medicare, Medicaid - (Registration required, but free.) Article from Medscape News. - October 5, 2017

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Children's Health-Care Bill Faces New Obstacles - Article from The Hill. - October 4, 2017

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Senate Confirms Number Two Spot at HHS, Days after Price Resigns - Article from The Hill. - October 4, 2017

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5 Takeaways From Congress' Failure To Extend Funding For Children's Coverage - Article from Kaiser Health News. - October 3, 2017

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National Kidney Foundation Urges Support for Landmark Kidney Disease Legislation - Press release. - October 2, 2017

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Congress Misses Deadline to Reauthorize Children's Health Care Program - Article from The Hill. - October 1, 2017

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Democrats Urge Sec. Price to Change ObamaCare Site Shutdown Planned during Open Enrollment - Article from The Hill. - September 28, 2017

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With Deadlines Looming, Congress Tardy On Funding For Children's Insurance, Health Centers - News summary from Kaiser Health News. - September 28, 2017

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Statement by Richard Neal (D-MA) of the Ways and Means Committee - September 28, 2017
"“I am deeply concerned about reports from Puerto Rico that millions of people, including thousands of dialysis patients, are not receiving the urgent medical care they depend on. In this day and age, no American should ever die of a manageable medical condition. Yet this appears to be the situation facing kidney disease patients in Puerto Rico. Those in need of dialysis are in dire condition due to Puerto Rico’s lack of needed fuel and supplies to dialyze those with kidney disease. More than a week after Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico, needed medical supplies and fuel have not been delivered, resulting in the death of kidney patients; these deaths were preventable and the failure to get needed help to the island is inexcusable."

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Chronic Care (CHRONIC) Act of 2017 Passes Senate - Articles from MobiHealthNews and Medscape Nephrology (registration required). - September 27, 2017

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‘We Don’t Have The Votes’: Senate Republicans End Latest Push For Obamacare Replacement Bill - News summary from Kaiser Health News. Articles from HealthDay and Reuters. - September 26, 2017

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Act Now! Graham-Cassidy Bill Threatens Healthcare for People with Kidney Disease - Posting from the KidneyViews blog. - September 25, 2017

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Statement by Eleanor D. Lederer, MD, FASN, President, the American Society of Nephrology, Opposing the Graham-Cassidy Proposal - Press release. - September 25, 2017

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Sen. Collins Announces Opposition To GOP Bill To Replace Obamacare - Articles from Kaiser Health News and Reuters. - September 25, 2017

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GOP Changes Graham-Cassidy Bill to Win over Wary Senators - Article from The Hill. - September 24, 2017

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National Kidney Foundation Statement on Senate Graham-Cassidy Healthcare Proposal - NKF news release. - September 22, 2017

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The Graham–Cassidy Plan — The Most Harmful ACA-Repeal Bill Yet - Free, full-text, First Online perspective piece from The New England Journal of Medicine. - September 22, 2017

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GOP Health Bill's Changes Go Far Beyond Preexisting Conditions - Article from Kaiser Health News. - September 22, 2017

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American Nurses Association Adamantly Opposes Graham-Cassidy Proposal - September 22, 2017

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All 50 State Medicaid Directors Oppose Obamacare Repeal Bill - News item from MarketWatch. Related news summary from Kaiser Health News. - September 21, 2017

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Republicans Plan Healthcare Vote; Obama and TV Host Denounce Bill - Article from Reuters. - September 20, 2017

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ASN and Advocates from 21 Other Health Care Organizations are on Capitol Hill Urging Congress to Support Kidney Disease Research and the Living Donor Protection Act - Press release from the American Society of Nephrology. - September 19, 2017

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Jimmy Kimmel Slams Cassidy over Obamacare Repeal Bill - Article from The Hill. - September 19, 2017

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Articles and News Summaries from Kaiser Health News  - September 19, 2017

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Senate GOP Tries One Last Time To Repeal Obamacare - News summary from Kaiser Health News. - September 18, 2017

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Graham-Cassidy: A Closer Look at the Medicaid Provisions - Posting from the HealthAffairs Blog. - September 14, 2017

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House Energy and Commerce Panel Clears Bipartisan Medicare Bills, On Path With Ways and Means Committee To Replicate Senate Chronic Care Bill - (Pay-for-view web site) Article extract from InsideHealthPolicy.com. - September 13, 2017

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The Argument against House Bill 1938 - Free, Full-Text, Early View Letter to the Editor from American Journal of Transplantation - September 13, 2017

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Articles from The Hill - September 13, 2017

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Press Releases from National Nurses United - September 13, 2017

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Senators Announce Bipartisan Extension of Children's Health Program - Article from The Hill. - September 8, 2017

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Sanders to Unveil 'Medicare for All' Bill on Wednesday - Article from The Hill. - September 8, 2017

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As Left-Wing Chases ‘Medicare For All’ Dream, This Senator Is Taking More Pragmatic Approach - News summary from Kaiser Health News. - September 8, 2017

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If Anyone Can Work Miracles To Get Bipartisan Solution On Health Care It May Be These Two Senators - News summary from Kaiser Health News. - September 1, 2017

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Public Opinion about the Future of the Affordable Care Act - Free, full-text, First Online special report from The New England Journal of Medicine. - August 31, 2017

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Advertising Budget for Obamacare to Be Cut 90 Percent: US Health Agency - Articles from Reuters and Kaiser Health NewsPress release from CMS. - August 31, 2017

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Sen. Kamala Harris Announces She Will Co-Sponsor Single-Payer Healthcare - Article from The Hill.  - August 30, 2017

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Trump Administration Still Sabotaging Affordable Care Act, Sebelius Says - Article and podcast from KCUR. - August 18, 2017

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Iowa's Only Obamacare Insurer Requests 57% Rate Increase - Article from The Hill. - August 17, 2017

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Democrats in Congress to Explore Creating an Expert Panel on Trump's Mental Health - Article From STAT. - August 16, 2017

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Eliminating Obamacare Subsidies Would Up Premiums by 20 Percent: CBO - Articles from HealthDay and Kaiser Health News. - August 15, 2017

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Survey: Most Doctors Back Single Payer - Article from HealthLeaders Media. - August 14, 2017

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Poll: 78 Percent Say Trump Should Try to Make Obamacare Work - Articles from The Hill and Kaiser Health News. - August 11, 2017

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Free, Full-Text, Online First Perspective Pieces from The New England Journal Of Medicine - August 9, 2017

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Anthem to Pare Back Obamacare Offerings in Nevada and Georgia - Article from Reuters. - August 7, 2017

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The Courts May Have Just Checked Trump’s Ability To Sabotage Obamacare - News summary from Kaiser Health News. - August 3, 2017

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Kidney Care Partners Applaud Senate Introduction of Bipartisan Legislation to Improve and Expand Access to Kidney Care - Press release. - August 2017

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Even Without Congress, Trump Can Still Cut Medicaid Enrollment - Article from Kaiser Health News. - July 28, 2017

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The Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act: Implications for Nephrology - JASN Express abstract. - July 28, 2017

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5 Ways White House Can Use Its Muscle To Undercut Obamacare - Article from Kaiser Health News. - July 28, 2017

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McCain's 'No' Vote Kills "Skinny Repeal" in Early Morning Drama on Capitol Hill - Article from AP via STAT. Article from CNN. - July 28, 2017

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Articles from The Hill - July 28, 2017

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Turmoil in the Individual Insurance Market — Where It Came From and How to Fix It - Free, Full-Text Article from The New England Journal Of Medicine. - July 27, 2017

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Senate GOP Wins Vote To Debate Health Care, Then Loses Vote On ACA Replacement Bill - Posting from the Health Affairs Blog. Article from HealthDay. - July 26, 2017

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Articles from Kaiser Health News - July 26, 2017

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Task Force Suggests Amendments to Stark Law, Anti-Kickback Statute - Article from HealthLeaders Media. - July 26, 2017

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U.S. House Approves Measure to Get Dialysis Clinics Certified Faster - Articles from KSNT.com (Kansas) and WIBW.com. Article from Modern Healthcare (registration required). - July 25, 2017

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With Pence as Tie-breaker, Senate Votes to Debate Obamacare Overhaul - Article from HealthDay. - July 25, 2017

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News Summaries from Kaiser Health News - July 25, 2017

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Articles from Kaiser Health News - July 24, 2017

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Articles from Kaiser Health News - July 21, 2017

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House Committee Approves Funding for NKF Priorities - Posting from the National Kidney Foundation's Advocacy in Action blog. - July 20, 2017

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Senate Republicans Complain of Chaos in Healthcare Effort - Article from Reuters. Article from The Hill. - July 20, 2017

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What's Ahead for Health Reform in 2018? - Article from HealthDay. - July 20, 2017

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CBO: GOP Plan Would Spike Premiums, Cut 32M From Insurance Rolls - Posting from Roll Call. Article from Kaiser Health News. - July 19, 2017

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Republicans Meet Late into Night As Trump Demands New Healthcare Plan
Article from Reuters. - July 19, 2017

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Republican Push to End Obamacare Collapses in Senate - Articles from Reuters and HealthDay. Analysis from Kaiser Health News. - July 17, 2017

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Two More GOP Senators Oppose Health Care Overhaul, Dooming Bill for Now - Articles from AP, HealthDay, Reuters, Roll Call, and Kaiser Health News. - July 17, 2017

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Articles from Kaiser Health News - July 14, 2017

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Five Takeaways from the GOP's Healthcare Reboot - Articles from The Hill, HealthDay, and HealthLeaders Media. - July 13, 2017

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New Senate Republicans Healthcare Bill Already in Trouble - Article fromReuters and The Hill. - July 13, 2017

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Senate May Vote on Revised Healthcare Bill Next Week - Article from Reuters. News summary from Kaiser Health News. - July 11, 2017

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Single-Payer Healthcare Gains Traction with Democrats - Article from The Hill. - July 9, 2017

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McConnell Concedes Bill Might Not Pass, But Reaffirms Need To Shore Up Individual Markets - News summary from Kaiser Health News. - July 7, 2017

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Articles from The Hill - July 4, 2017

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GOP Senators Warming to Repeal Then Replace on ObamaCare - Article from The Hill. - July 2, 2017

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Kidney Care Partners Applauds House Ways & Means Committee’s Bipartisan Legislation to Improve and Expand Access to Kidney Care - Press release. - July 2017

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McConnell Wants To Get Revised Plan To CBO By Friday - News summary from Kaiser Health News. - June 29, 2017

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GOP Infighting Erupts over Healthcare Bill - Article from The Hill. - June 28, 2017

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Act Now to Protect Healthcare for Americans with Kidney Disease - Posting from the KidneyViews Blog. - June 27, 2017

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Senate GOP Leaders Delay Vote on Health Reform Bill - Article from HealthDay. - June 27, 2017

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Analysis: Mitch McConnell Plans To Hide Trumpcare's Pain Until After Midterms - Article from Kaiser Health News. - June 27, 2017

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Statement of Eleanor D. Lederer, MD, FASN, President, the American Society of Nephrology, on the Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017 - (3-page pdf) Press release. - June 26, 2017

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AMA to Mitch McConnell: Legislation Violates Standard of "First, Do No Harm" - (2-page pdf) Letter from the American Medical Association. - June 26, 2017

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With Health Plan, GOP Would Drastically Cut Medicaid And Fundamentally Reshape Program - News summary from Kaiser Health News. - June 23, 2017

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Senate Plan Would Give Corporations, High Income Earners A $1 Trillion Tax Cut - News summary from Kaiser Health News. - June 23, 2017

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HHS Working on Replacement for Obama Dialysis Rule - Court Filing - News item via Reuters. - June 23, 2017

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Senate Better Care Reconciliation Act is Not Better for Kidney Patients - Press release from the National Kidney Foundation. - June 23, 2017

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Senate Health Bill Would Revamp Medicaid, Alter ACA Guarantees, Cut Premium Support - Articles from Kaiser Health News. - June 22, 2017

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Senate Republicans Reveal Their Replacement for Obamacare - Article from HealthDay. - June 22, 2017

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Hospital Opposition to Healthcare Overhaul Continues With Senate Version - Article from HFMA. - June 22, 2017

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Articles from The Hill - June 22, 2017

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Articles from Kaiser Health News - June 21, 2017

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Senate Dems To Hold Late-Night Protest over ObamaCare Repeal - Article from The Hill. - June 18, 2017

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Effective Legislative Advocacy — Lessons from Successful Medical Trainee Campaigns - Free, Full-Text, Online First Perspective Pieces from the New England Journal Of Medicine. - June 22, 2017

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Lawmakers That Trump Pushed Into Signing 'Mean' Bill Peeved At The President's Candid Comments - News summary from Kaiser Health News. - June 15, 2017

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Leading Medical Groups Mobilize Against Obamacare Repeal - Article from HealthDay. - June 13, 2017

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Expanding Access, Supporting Research and Sustaining Medicare for Individuals with Kidney Disease - Article by Rep. Tom Marino from The Hill. - June 12, 2017

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If Insurance Market Crashes, Can Lawmakers Put The Pieces Back Together? - Article from Kaiser Health News. - June 8, 2017

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The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Seeks Public Input on Reducing the Regulatory Burdens of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) - Press release. - June 8, 2017

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States Scramble to Prevent Obamacare Exodus - Article from The Hill. - June 4, 2017

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Dialysis Firms Get Help From Congress in Overturning Charity Ban - Article from Bloomberg. Letter from 183 members of Congress.- May 31, 2017

OpenSecrets.org profiles of DaVita HealthCare Partners and Fresenius Medical Care.

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MACRA: The Lesser of 2 Evils? - Posting from Acumen Physicians Solutions. - May 29, 2017

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Dark Cloud of Pessimism (on healthcare) Settles Over Senate: ‘If I Had To Bet My House, I’d Bet We Don’t Get It Done’ - News summary from Kaiser Health News. Article from The Hill. - May 26, 2017

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"Chronic Kidney Disease Improvement in Research and Treatment Act" (HR. 2644) Introduced - News release from Kidney Care Partners. HR. 2644. - May 25, 2017

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Strategies To Defend Unpopular GOP Health Bill: Euphemisms, False Statements And Deleted Comments - Article from Kaiser Health News. - May 25, 2017

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CBO Greenlights Telehealth Provisions in Senate's CHRONIC Care Act - Blog posting from Lexology. - May 25, 2017

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Under US Republican Bill, 23 Million Would Lose Health Coverage: Watchdog - Article and video from Reuters. Articles from Kaiser Health News and HealthDay. - May 24, 2017

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Tab For Single-Payer Proposal In California Could Run $400 Billion - Article from Kaiser Health News. - May 23, 2017

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Study: House Obamacare Bill Cuts $43 Billion in Medicaid Funds for Children - Article from The Hill. - May 18, 2017

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6.3M People With Preexisting Conditions Could Face Higher Premiums Under GOP Health Plan - Articles from Kaiser Health News. - May 17, 2017

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May 16: Senate Finance Committee Hearing on Chronic Care Bill - Check back for live video of the hearing. This hearing is on the Creating High-Quality Results and Outcomes Necessary to Improve Chronic (CHRONIC) Care Act of 2017 (S. 870). - May 16, 2017

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Preexisting Conditions Took Spotlight In House Debates, But Medicaid Moves To Center Stage In Senate - News summary from Kaiser Health News. - May 16, 2017

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American Medical Association: Millions Could Lose Coverage in GOP Health Plan - Article from The Hill. - May 15, 2017

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Rival Senate Healthcare Group Seeks to Make Waves - Article from The Hill. - May 14, 2017

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Poll: Majority Disapprove of GOP Healthcare Plan - Article from The Hill. - May 11, 2017

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People With Pre-Existing Health Issues Fear Repeal-and-Replace Bill - Article from HealthDay. - May 11, 2017

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GOP Healthcare Effort Dogged by Gender Inequity - Article from The Hill. - May 9, 2017

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Articles from Kaiser Health News - May 8, 2017

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Preexisting Conditions That May Not Be Covered by Republican Health Care Bill - Article and video from CNN. The list includes:  - May 6, 2017

  • Dialysis
  • Organ transplants
  • Renal failure
  • Diabetes
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Articles from Kaiser Health News - May 5, 2017

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Articles from Kaiser Health News - May 5, 2017

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Articles from STAT - May 5, 2017

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Articles from HealthDay - May 4, 2017

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National Kidney Foundation Statement on MacArthur Amendment to the American Health Care Act - Press release. - May 3, 2017

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GOP Rushing to Vote on Healthcare without Analysis of Changes - Article from The Hill. - May 3, 2017

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Fair Access for Safe and Timely (FAST) Generics Act Reintroduced in Congress - News item from Inside Health Policy. - April 10, 2017

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Senate Finance Committee Members Reintroduce Chronic Care Bill - Article extract from InsideHealthPolicy.com. This discussion of the 2016 version (9-page pdf) includes expanding access to home dialysis therapy by allowing patients on home dialysis to receive required monthly clinical assessments via telehealth in lieu of face-to-face visits.  However, the bill proposes that patients be required to have a face-to-face assessment with a nephrologist at least once every three months.- April 6, 2017

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For Better Or Worse, Trump And GOP Now Own Health Care - Article from Kaiser Health News. - April 4, 2017

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Lawmakers On Both Sides Dig In Heels Over Drastic Cuts To NIH Funding - News summary from Kaiser Health News. - April 4, 2017

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Replacing the Affordable Care Act — Lessons From Behavioral Economics - Free, full-text, New Online viewpoint article from the Journal of the American Medical Association. - April 3, 2017

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RPA Public Policy in a Minute: Chronic Care Act of 2017, S.870 - Video from the Renal Physicisians Association. - April 2017

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Senator Bernie Sanders Announces 'Medicare for All' Bill - Posting from the National Nurses United blog. - March 29, 2017

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ASN and AAKP Advocates are on Capitol Hill Urging Congress to Support Kidney Disease Research and the Living Donor Protection Act - Press release from the American Society of Nephrology. - March 28, 2017

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McConnell Throws Cold Water on Reviving Obamacare Repeal ¦ House GOP Insists They Aren't Giving up ¦ Price Faces New Task of Overseeing Health Law - Article from The Hill. - March 28, 2017

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Penn Researchers Call for Better Laws Covering Patient Incentives to Improve Care - March 22, 2017

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Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC) Releases Report on Medicare Payment Policy - (2-page pdf) Press release, fact sheet (4-page pdf), and full 2017 Report to Congress (483-page pdf). Chapter 6 (28-page pdf) on outpatient dialysis services. - March 15, 2017

"Recommendation: The Congress should increase the outpatient dialysis base payment rate by the update specified in current law for calendar year 2018."

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Republican Plan to Repeal Obamacare Would Leave Millions Uninsured: Report - Articles from Reuters and HealthDay.  - March 14, 2017

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How Retooled Health Law Might Treat Those With A History Of Illness - Article from Kaiser Health News. - March 13, 2017

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Congressional Budget Office Ignites Firestorm with ObamaCare Repeal Score - Article and report on White House analysis from The Hill. - March 13, 2017

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Trump Employs ‘Salesman Tactics’ To Line Up Hill Support For Health Law Replacement - News summary from Kaiser Health News. - March 10, 2017

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Republicans Forge Ahead on Obamacare Repeal despite US Budget Worries - Article from Reuters. - March 10, 2017

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New Health Care Bill Clears House Committees - Article from HealthDay. - March 9, 2017

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Five Ways The GOP Health Bill Would Reverse Course From The ACA - Article and news summary from Kaiser Health News. - March 8, 2017

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Physicians Reject House ACA Replacement Bill - Statement by the president of the American Medical Association. Other groups opposing the bill include AARP, American Hospital Association, American Nurses Association, and National Nurses United. - March 8, 2017

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U.S. Republicans Unveil Plan to Dismantle Obamacare, Critics Pounce - Article from Reuters. Article and news summary from Kaiser Health News. - March 8, 2017

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News Summaries on ACA Repeal/Replace from Kaiser Health News - March 7, 2017

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U.S. Republicans Expected to Unveil Healthcare Bill This Week - Article from Reuters. - March 6, 2017

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House Panel Plans to Mark up Obamacare Repeal Bill Next Week - Article from The Hill. - March 1, 2017

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Trump Backs Healthcare Tax Credit amid Conservative Opposition - Article from The Hill. - February 28, 2017

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Hospitals, Both Rural And Urban, Dread Losing Ground With Health Law Repeal - Article from Kaiser Health News. Free, full-text, New Online perspective piece from the Journal of the American Medical Association. - February 28, 2017

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Step Therapy—Clinical Algorithms, Legislation, and Optimal Prescribing - Free, full-text, New Online viewpoint article from the Journal of the American Medical Association. - February 28, 2017

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Protections in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) - Posting from the KidneyViews blog. - February 23, 2017

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Right-To-Die Fight Hits National Stage - Article from Kaiser Health News. - February 16, 2017

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Repealing the ACA without a Replacement — The Risks to American Health Care - Free, full-text perspective piece by B.H. Obama from The New England Journal of Medicine. Related Online First perspective pieces - February 9, 2017

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Trump Order on Regulations Could Create Hurdles for FDA, Cures Act - Article from STAT. - January 30, 2017

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Medicare's Coverage Of Therapy Services Again Is In Center Of Court Dispute - Article from Kaiser Health News. - January 30, 2017

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Republican Senators Unveil ACA Replacement Bill That Lets States Keep Obamacare Or Opt Into Alternative - Articles from HealthDay and The Hill. - January 23, 2017

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Articles from Kaiser Health News - January 23, 2017

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Health Law Has Never Been More Popular — Just As GOP Is Poised To Dismantle It - News summary from Kaiser Health News. - January 18, 2017

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Trump's HHS Secretary Pick Tom Price Invested in Company, Then Introduced a Bill To Help It - Article from CNN. Other conflict-of-interest articles about Tom Price regarding PAC support and a sweetheart deal from Kaiser Health News. - January 17, 2017

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GOP Dismissive Of Trump’s Medicare ‘Bidding’ Idea — Long A Non-Starter — To Curb Drug Prices - News summary from Kaiser Health News. - January 13, 2017

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Articles from Kaiser Health News - January 13, 2017

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Senate Approves Measure Launching Obamacare Repeal Process - Article from Reuters. Article from The Hill. News summary from Kaiser Health News. - January 13, 2017

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The 21st Century Cures Act — A View from the NIH - Free, Full-Text Articles from the New England Journal Of Medicine. - January 12, 2017

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DaVita CEO: ESRD Reg Likely Won't Make Short List For Congressional Review Act - Article extract only from InsideHealthPolicy.com. Press release from the American Kidney Fund. - January 11, 2017

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The Worst That Could Happen: Industry Braces For Repeal’s Possibly ‘Devastating’ Consequences - News summary from Kaiser Health News. - January 9, 2017

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Repealing the ACA without a Replacement — The Risks to American Health Care - Free, full-text, Online First perspective piece from the New England Journal of Medicine. - January 6, 2017

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Proposed Legislation Expands Option for Home Clinic Visits by Telehealth - Posting from the KidneyViews blog.  - January 5, 2017

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New "21st Century Cures" Legislation — Speed and Ease vs Science - Free, full-text, New Online viewpoint article from the Journal of the American Medical Association. - January 5, 2017

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Vowing To Jettison Obamacare, Republicans Face Immediate Resistance And Risks - Articles from Kaiser Health News and The Hill. - January 3, 2017

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House, Senate Headed for Clash on Medicare - Article from The Hill. - January 1, 2017

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As GOP Prepares For Repeal, Study Adds To Growing Evidence Health Law Is Working - News summary from Kaiser Health News. - December 21, 2016

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A Look at Republican Plans for Repealing and Replacing Obamacare - Free, full-text article from the Journal of the American Medical Association. - December 6, 2016


Top of Page

 STATE LEGISLATION

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Despite Near Record Spending by Dialysis Industry, Independent Poll Shows Voters Favor Prop. 8 to Improve Patient Care, Californians for Kidney Dialysis Patient Protection - Press release from Yes on 8. - October 18, 2018

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Near-Record Spending Against Dialysis Initiative - Article from California Healthline. - Why Proposition 8 Is One Of The Most Contentious, And Confusing, Ballot Measures In Play - Article from Capital Public Radio.October 17, 2018

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Berkshire-Backed Davita Pours $94 Million Into California Politics Fight - Articles from Bloomberg and San Francisco Chronicle. - October 12, 2018

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Dialysis Industry Drops Nearly $100 Million to Oppose Prop. 8 in California - Press release. Article from Colorado Politics. - October 11, 2018

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Nephrology Journal Club To Discuss California's Prop 8 - Scheduled for Oct. 16, 9 PM EDT. - October 11, 2018

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Will Maine Voters Decide To Make Aging In Place Affordable? - Article from Kaiser Health News. - October 11, 2018

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Patient Advocacy Or Political Ploy? Union, Industry Square Off Over Dialysis Initiative - Article from California Healthline. - October 5, 2018

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Breaking Down Calif.'s Prop 8 - Article and 4-minute video from One America News Network. - October 3, 2018

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American Kidney Fund Statement on California Governor Jerry Brown's Veto of SB 1156 - Press release. Article from MarketWatch. SB- 1156 legislative summary. - September 30, 2018

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California Proposition 8 Television Ads - September 28, 2018

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Status Of California Dialysis Bill Still Uncertain Ahead Of Sunday Deadline - Article extract only from InsideHealthPolicy.com. SB- 1156 legislative summary. - September 27, 2018

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Proposition 8 Isn't about Dialysis Care, It's about Punishing Non-Unionized Clinics. Vote No - Opinion from the Editorial Board of the Los Angeles Times. - September 26, 2018

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2018 Voter Guide: A Look at California's Proposition Eight: Dialysis Clinics' Revenue Limits and Required Refunds - Article from ABC7News (San Francisco). - September 25, 2018

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PRO/CON: Would California's Prop. 8 Better Dialysis Care or Endanger Lives? - September 25, 2018
Commentary from the East Bay Times. Positions taken by:

Editor's note: They couldn't find a nephrologist?
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A Texas Lawsuit Being Heard This Week Could Mean Life or Death for the ACA - Article from Kaiser Health News. - September 4, 2018

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The Fight over Dialysis Profits Advances in California, Hitting Companies Hard - Article from MarketWatch. - September 1, 2018

"The odds of SB 1156 becoming law are around 45%, according to Height Capital Markets analyst Andrea Harris, who estimated that it could lead to operating-income losses of up to $95.5 million a year for DaVita."

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California Assembly Passes Bill To Cap Dialysis Reimbursement - (Registration required, but free.) Article from Modern Healthcare. SB- 1156 legislative summary. Stock price charts for DaVita and Fresenius Medical Care. American Kidney Fund press release. - August 30, 2018

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More Than $40 Million Raised for Fight over California Dialysis Profits and Patients - Article from The Sacramento Bee. - August 30, 2018

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How a California Bill Could Upend the Dialysis Industry - Article from Axios. - August 27, 2018

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Ohio Supreme Court Kicks Statewide Kidney Dialysis Issue Off the Ballot - Articles from WHIO.com and Cleveland.com. - August 13, 2018

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Union Submits More Signatures for Dialysis Profits Ballot Initiative in Ohio - Article from Healio. - August 6, 2018

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Ohio Kidney Dialysis Amendment Backers Have Spent $4.1 Million So Far To Get on the Ballot - Article from Cleveland.com. - August 1, 2018

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Ohio Kidney Dialysis Proposal, Not yet on the Ballot, Faces First Court Challenge - Article from Cleveland.com. - July 26, 2018

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Ohio Ballot Initiative on Dialysis Fails To Meet Signature Requirements - Article from The Columbus Dispatch. - July 23, 2018
"While the Kidney Dialysis Patient Protection Amendment did not meet the 305,591 signature requirement, according to Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted's office, petitioners will have a 10-day period to gain the additional 9,511 signatures required."

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California Firefighters Endorse Prop. 8; Say it Will Improve Dialysis Patient Care, Protect Taxpayers - Press release for Californians for Kidney Dialysis Patient Protection. Sponsored by Service Employees International Union—United Healthcare Workers West. - July 23, 2018

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New Study of Prop 8 Predicts Clinic Closures If Passed - (42-page pdf) Report from Berkeley Research Group via the NoProp8.com web site. Related press release. - July 23, 2018

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Dialysis Firms' Profits Are Obscene. What Will Happen If California Tries To Cap Them? - Article from Los Angeles Times. - July 20, 2018

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Mandating Staffing Ratios in Hemodialysis Facilities — California SB 349 and Unintended Consequences - Free, Full-Text Articles from the Clinical Journal of the American Society Of Nephrology. - July 2018

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Union Gives Up on Dialysis Ballot Initiative in Arizona - Article from The Daily Courier. - July 16, 2018

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Administration Freezes Program That Pays Billions To Insurers To Help Stabilize Health Law Marketplaces - News summary from Kaiser Health News. - July 9, 2018

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Ohio Renal Association Statement on Proposed Constitutional Amendment (Ballot Initiative) on Dialysis - (2-page pdf) Press release of the Ohio Renal Association web site. - July 4, 2018

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Signatures Submitted for Ballot Initiative to Improve Dialysis Care in Ohio - Article from Cleveland.com. - July 4, 2018

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Amended Version of SB 1156 Passed by California Assembly Health Committee - Press release from the American Kidney Fund. - June 27, 2018

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Michigan Governor Signs Bill On Medicaid Work Requirements - June 22, 2018

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Union, Dialysis Providers Disagree about Discussing California Ballot Initiative with Patients - Article from Healio (no direct links due to browser Return/Back failures). - June 20, 2018

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CalPERS Endorses California Ballot Initiative to Improve Dialysis Patient Care, Reports 'Kidney Patients Deserve Better' - Press release from Kidney Patients Deserve Better. California Public Employees' Retirement System (CalPERS) staff report (6-page pdf). - June 20, 2018

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California High Court Rejects Attempt to Remove Dialysis Initiative from November Ballot - Article from Becker's Hospital Review. - June 19, 2018

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RPA Letter Opposing the California State Ballot Initiative on Dialysis Reimbursement - News release and letter (2-page pdf) from the Renal Physician's Association. - June 18, 2018

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National Kidney Foundation Statement on the California Ballot Initiative, The Fair Pricing for Dialysis Act - Press release. - June 15, 2018

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Poll: Ohio Voters Support Proposed Dialysis Clinic Ballot Initiative - Posting from the WKTN Radio blog. Related article from The Columbus Dispatch (registration required). - June 14, 2018

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Dialysis Patients, Chronic Disease Representatives, Renal Workers and Others Urge California Assembly Health to Oppose SB 1156 - Press release from the American Kidney Fund. - June 11, 2018

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California Secretary of State Announces that Initiative #1810, Related to Kidney Dialysis Clinics, Has Enough Signatures To Be Eligible for the November Ballot - (2-page pdf). Initiative Ballotpedia page. Articles from CALmatters and Los Angeles Times. - May 30, 2018

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Virginia Legislature Sends Medicaid Expansion to Governor - Article from The Hill. - May 30, 2018

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Dialysis Profits Bill Goes before California Senate Hearing - Article from Healio. - May 15, 2018

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National Kidney Foundation Statement on Legislation Passed in Colorado to Provide Paid Leave for Living Organ Donors - Press release. - May 11, 2018

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Bill Restricting Third-Party Premium Payment for Patients with ESRD Wins California Senate Committee Approval - Article from Healio. - April 19, 2018

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Dialysis Patients Sign Up For November Ballot Fight (in California) - Article from California Healthline. - April 6, 2018

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Dialysis Clinic Revenue Would Be Capped under California Ballot Measure - Article from San Francisco Chronicle. - April 5, 2018

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Dialysis Industry on Alert As California Union Pushes for Reimbursement Cap - (Registration required) Article from Modern Healthcare. - April 4, 2018
"The ballot initiative would likely drive DaVita out of California entirely — at least a $300 million loss, Baird said.

However, Baird noted that the dialysis industry has the bigger lobbying war-chest compared to the union and speculated that DaVita and Fresenius will either defeat both the staffing legislation and the ballot measure, challenge them in court or negotiate another resolution with the union."

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California Bill Targets Profiteering In Addiction Treatment, Dialysis Industries - Article from Kaiser Health News. - March 28, 2018

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Idaho First in Nation to Pass Living Donor Protections - Press release from the National Kidney Foundation.. - March 20, 2018

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California's Tax On Millionaires Yields Big Benefits For People With Mental Illness, Study Finds - Article from Kaiser Health News.. - March 14, 2018

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Advocates Launch $3.5 Million National Ad Campaign to Expose Problems in Dialysis Industry - Press release from SEIU–UHW West (Service Employees International Union-United Healthcare Workers). TV ads for this campaign. - February 5, 2018
"The paid media campaign is part of a larger effort to improve patient care at dialysis clinics through a (California) ballot initiative and state legislation (SB 349)."
Article on the union's activities from Politico.com.

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California Ballot Measures Targets Colorado Dialysis Company DaVita - Articles from The Denver Post and Colorado Politics. - November 27, 2017

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Maine Governor Says He Will Not Expand Medicaid despite Vote - Article from Reuters. - November 8, 2017

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Maine Approves Medicaid Expansion - Articles from NPR and The Hill. - November 8, 2017

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California Patients, Workers Push Bill to Reform Dialysis Treatment - Article from Public News Service. - September 8, 2017

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Freseno Patients, Providers Rally for California Dialysis Bill - August 25, 2017

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"Real Threat to Dialysis Patients Comes from an Unexpected Place" - Op-ed from The San Diego Union-Tribune Editorial Board. - August 11, 2017

Editor's note:
The San Diego Union-Tribune owners are "pro-conservative, pro-business, pro-military." 

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Statewide Ballot Initiative Filed in California to Improve Dialysis Patient Care, Reports SEIU-UHW - Press release. Articles from Los Angeles Times and The Sacramento Bee. - August 9, 2017

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GOP States Move To Cut Medicaid - Article from The Hill. - August 3, 2017

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NAACP Endorses Dialysis Patient Care State (California) Legislation - Article from Compton Herald. - July 23, 2017

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Flawed Assumptions: Ethical Problems With Proposed Presumed Consent Legislation - Free, full-text, Early View letter to the editor from American Journal of Transplantation. - July 20, 2017

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California Assembly Bill 251 Calls for Rebates from Dialysis Providers - This bill is scheduled for a hearing before the Senate Health Committe on July 12. - June 29, 2017

Section 1 (c): "Dialysis clinics in California frequently charge private health insurance plans four or more times as much, and sometimes 15 to 20 times as much, as they charge Medicare for the very same dialysis treatment, but do not spend sufficient funds on ensuring quality patient care."

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Bill to Improve Dialysis Patient Care Passes California Assembly Health Committee - Article from Los Angeles Sentinel. - June 29, 2017

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Targeting Unconscionable Prescription-Drug Prices — Maryland's Anti–Price-Gouging Law - Free, Full-Text, Online First Perspective Pieces from the New England Journal Of Medicine - June 7, 2017

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Government-Run Universal Health Care Wins Vote in California Senate - Press release from National Nurses United. Article from The Sacramento Bee. News summary from Kaiser Health News. - June 1, 2017

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Bill to Enact Major Reforms in Dialysis Patient Care Passes California State Senate, Reports SEIU-UHW - Press release. Article from The Sacramento Bee. - May 31, 2017

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DaVita Fires Employee One Day After Speaking at State Capitol (Sacramento) in Support of Bill to Improve Patient Care - News release from the SEIU-UHW. - May 25, 2017

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A California Bill Could Totally Disrupt The Dialysis Industry - Article from The Huffington Post. - May 25, 2017

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See Comments Section of this Article: California Bill Addresses Safety Concerns at Dialysis Clinics - Article from Kaiser Health News via Medscape Nephrology. - May 23, 2017

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California Bill Addresses Safety Concerns At Dialysis Clinics - Article from Kaiser Health News. - May 19, 2017

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California Bill Addresses Safety Concerns at Dialysis Clinics - Article from Kaiser Health News via California Healthline. - May 11, 2017

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California Lawmakers Consider Dumping Health Insurers - AP article. Press release from National Nurses United. - April 27, 2017

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California First to Address Dialysis Staffing Crisis - (Registration required, but free.) Article from Medscape Nephrology. - April 21, 2017

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California Proposes Bill To Regulate Dialysis Clinics - Article from Modern Healthcare (registration required). - March 30, 2017

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Dialysis Centers: California Bill Proposes to Improve Staffing, Inspections - Article from The Mercury News. - March 29, 2017

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California Dialysis Centers May Receive Quality Boost under New Legislation - Article from San Francisco Examiner.  - February 18, 2017

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Texas Judge Upends Effort To Limit Charity Funding For Kidney Care - Kaiser Health News article via NPR. - February 14, 2016

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Prominent Democratic Consultants Sign Up to Defeat Single Payer in Colorado - Article from The Intercept. - May 3, 2016
"The anti-single-payer effort is funded almost entirely by health care industry interests, including $500,000 from Anthem Inc., the state's largest health insurance provider; $40,000 from Cigna, another large health insurer that is current in talks to merge with Anthem; $75,000 from Davita, the dialysis company; $25,000 from Delta Dental, the largest dental insurer in the state; and $100,000 from SCL Health, the faith-based hospital chain."

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In Rural States Policy Changes To Improve Access To Home Dialysis Are Vital - Posting from the Health Affairs blog. - April 12, 2016

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Proposed North Carolina Bill Could Make Blue Cross Accept Third-Party Payments for Dialysis - Article and video from WNCN.com. - December 21, 2016

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Colorado To Vote on Universal Healthcare - Article from The Hill. - November 9, 2015

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California Gov. Brown Signs Aid-in-Dying Bill Into Law - Article from KQED and Kaiser Health News. - October 5, 2015

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Calif. Lawmakers Approve Bill Requiring Drug Labeling In 5 Foreign Languages - Article from Kaiser Health News. - September 11, 2015

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California Lawmakers Pass Right-to-Die Measure - September 11, 2015

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Right-to-Try Laws - Health policy brief from Health Affairs. - March 5, 2015
"Some states have passed legislation intended to expand access to experimental treatments for patients with serious or life-threatening conditions."

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Bill to End Organ Transplant Denials for Medical Marijuana Patients Filed in California - Article from The Daily Chronic. - February 12, 2015

 

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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 115th CONGRESS (2017-2018)

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H 1 - Tax Cuts and Jobs Act
This bill amends the Internal Revenue Code to reduce tax rates and modify policies, credits, and deductions for individuals and businesses.

  • Text:  H 1
  • Summary & Status: H 1
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H 6 - SUPPORT for Patients and Communities Act
Substance Use-Disorder Prevention that Promotes Opioid Recovery and Treatment for Patients and Communities Act or the SUPPORT for Patients and Communities Act.

  • Text:  H 6
  • Summary & Status: H 6
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S 115 - Veterans Transplant Coverage Act
This bill authorizes the Department of Veterans Affairs to provide for an operation on a live donor to carry out a transplant procedure for an eligible veteran, notwithstanding that the live donor may not be eligible for VA health care. The VA shall furnish to such a donor any care or services that may be required before and after such procedure.

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H 154 - Of inquiry requesting the President of the United States and directing the Secretary of Health and Human Services to transmit certain information to the House of Representatives relating to plans to repeal or replace the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and the health-related measures of the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010

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S 191 - Patient Freedom Act of 2017
To improve patient choice by allowing States to adopt market-based alternatives to the Affordable Care Act that increase access to affordable health insurance and reduce costs while ensuring important consumer protections and improving patient care.

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H 212 - Expressing the sense of the House of Representatives that any legislation to repeal the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act should include a replacement for such Act that includes certain health care consumer protections

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H 215 - Expressing the fact that the House of Representatives supports the system for prescription drug coverage provided under part D of the Medicare program and believes that changes to such system should not be part of the American Health Care Act of 2017

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S 222 - Obamacare Replacement Act
To repeal provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and provide private health insurance reform, and for other purposes.

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H 676 - Expanded & Improved Medicare For All Act
To provide for comprehensive health insurance coverage for all United States residents, improved health care delivery, and for other purposes.

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H 878 & S 204 - Right to Try Act of 2017
To authorize the use of unapproved medical products by patients diagnosed with a terminal illness in accordance with State law, and for other purposes.

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S 925 - Veterans E-Health and Telemedicine Support Act of 2017
To amend title 38, United States Code, to improve the ability of health care professionals to treat veterans through the use of telemedicine, and for other purposes.

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H 1072 - Obamacare Replacement Act
To repeal provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and provide private health insurance reform, and for other purposes.

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H 1270 - Living Donor Protection Act of 2017
To promote and protect from discrimination living organ donors.

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H 1628 - American Health Care Act of 2017
To provide for reconciliation pursuant to title II of the concurrent resolution on the budget for fiscal year 2017.

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S 1729 - A bill to amend title XVIII of the Social Security Act to provide for independent accreditation for dialysis facilities and assurances of high quality surveys.

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S 1804 - Medicare for All Act of 2017
To establish a Medicare-for-all national health insurance program.

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H 1876 - Good Samaritan Health Professionals Act of 2017
To amend the Public Health Service Act to limit the liability of health care professionals who volunteer to provide health care services in response to a disaster.

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S 1890 - Chronic Kidney Disease Improvement in Research and Treatment Act of 2017
To improve the understanding of, and promote access to treatment for, chronic kidney disease, and for other purposes.

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H 1892 - Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018
To amend title 4, United States Code, to provide for the flying of the flag at half-staff in the event of the death of a first responder in the line of duty.

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H 1933 & S 761 - Health Care Options Act of 2017
A bill to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to allow individuals to receive a premium assistance credit for insurance not purchased on an Exchange, and for other purposes.

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H 1938 - President-Elect Release of Tax Return Act of 2017
To require the President-elect to submit copies to the Committee on House Administration of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Rules and Administration of the Senate of the Federal income tax returns filed for the 4 most recent taxable years, and for other purposes.

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H 2051 - FAST Generics Act of 2017
To amend the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act to ensure that eligible product developers have competitive access to approved drugs and licensed biological products, so as to enable eligible product developers to develop and test new products, and for other purposes.

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H 2392 - Nurse Staffing Standards for Hospital Patient Safety and Quality Care Act of 2017
To amend the Public Health Service Act to establish direct care registered nurse-to-patient staffing ratio requirements in hospitals, and for other purposes.

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S 2446 - Safe Staffing for Nurse and Patient Safety Act of 2018
A bill to amend title XVIII of the Social Security Act to provide for patient protection by establishing safe nurse staffing levels at certain Medicare providers, and for other purposes.

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H 2644 & S 1890 - Chronic Kidney Disease Improvement in Research and Treatment Act of 2017
To improve the understanding of, and promote access to treatment for, chronic kidney disease, and for other purposes.

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H 3168 - To amend title XVIII of the Social Security Act to provide continued access to specialized Medicare Advantage plans for special needs individuals, and for other purposes.

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H 3178 - Medicare Part B Improvement Act of 2017
To amend title XVIII of the Social Security Act to improve the delivery of home infusion therapy and dialysis and the application of the Stark rule under the Medicare program, and for other purposes.

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H 3635 & S 794 - Local Coverage Determination Clarification Act of 2017
To amend title XVIII of the Social Security Act in order to improve the process whereby medicare administrative contractors issue local coverage determinations under the Medicare program, and for other purposes.

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H 3867 - To amend title XVIII of the Social Security Act to create care management demonstration programs for chronic kidney disease under the Medicare program, and for other purposes.

  • Text:  H 3867
  • Summary & Status: H 3867
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H 3976 - Access to Marketplace Insurance Act
To amend title XVIII of the Social Security Act to improve the delivery of home infusion therapy and dialysis and the application of the Stark rule under the Medicare program, and for other purposes.

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H 4143 &S 2065 - Dialysis PATIENTS Demonstration Act of 2017
To establish a demonstration program to provide integrated care for Medicare beneficiaries with end-stage renal disease, and for other purposes.

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H 4579 & S 870 - Creating High-Quality Results and Outcomes Necessary to Improve Chronic (CHRONIC) Care Act of 2017
To amend title XVIII of the Social Security Act to implement Medicare payment policies designed to improve management of chronic disease, streamline care coordination, and improve quality outcomes without adding to the deficit.

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H 5223 - To direct the Secretary of Labor to issue an occupational safety and health rule that requires covered health care employers to adopt a comprehensive workplace violence prevention plan and for other purposes.

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new H 6157 - Department of Defense and Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education Appropriations Act, 2019 and Continuing Appropriations Act, 2019
An Act making appropriations for the Department of Defense for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2019, and for other purposes.

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new H 6561 - Comprehensive Care for Seniors Act of 2018
To direct the Secretary of Health and Human Services to issue a final regulation based on the proposed regulation relating to the Programs of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE) under the Medicare and Medicaid programs.

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new H 6662 - Empowering Seniors' Enrollment Decision Act of 2018
To amend title XVIII of the Social Security Act to extend the special election period under part C of the Medicare program for certain deemed individuals enrolled in a reasonable cost reimbursement contract to any Medicare Advantage eligible individual enrolled in such a contract during the final year such contract is extended, and for other purposes.

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new H 6690 - Fighting Fraud to Protect Care for Seniors Act of 2018
To establish a smart card pilot program to combat fraud, waste, and abuse and to protect beneficiary identity under the Medicare 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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RenalWEB Home Page