California Democratic Party Endorses Ballot Initiative to Improve Dialysis Patient Care

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – The California Democratic Party voted to officially endorse Prop. 8, a statewide ballot initiative to improve patient care for people with kidney failure, joining veterans, patients, healthcare advocates and more than 130 community groups, labor unions and churches supporting the measure on the Nov. 6 ballot.

“Democrats in California have fought for decades to improve access to quality healthcare and no one whose life is on the line because of kidney failure should have to be at the mercy of dialysis corporations that make billions in profits,” said Eric C. Bauman, Chair of the California Democratic Party. “The only way to stand up for these vulnerable patients and improve the care they receive three days a week is to vote yes on Prop. 8.”

The California Democratic Party’s executive board voted at its July 15 meeting in Oakland to endorse Prop. 8, the Fair Pricing for Dialysis Act, which improves care for dialysis patients by limiting dialysis corporations’ revenues to 15 percent above the amount they spend on patient care and pushes them to invest more in hiring more staff, buying new medical equipment, and improving facilities.

According to the U.S. Renal Data System, 66,000 Californians with life-threatening kidney failure get treatment in dialysis clinics.

The two largest companies, DaVita and Fresenius, made $3.9 billion in profits from their U.S. dialysis operations in 2016 – with a clinic profit margin nearly five times higher than an average hospital in California – while patient care suffered.  Dialysis patients and caregivers report sanitation problems, including bloodstains and cockroaches in clinics.

People with kidney failure often must undergo dialysis treatment three days a week at clinics to remove their blood, clean it, and put it back in their bodies. Each treatment lasts three to four hours.

To learn more about the ballot initiative, visit www.yeson8.com.

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