Dozens of Healthcare Organizations Unite in Support of Bipartisan, Bicameral Legislation to Prevent Discrimination & Ensure Insurance Access

Dozens of Healthcare Organizations Unite in Support of Bipartisan, Bicameral Legislation to Prevent Discrimination & Ensure Insurance Access

October 12, 2022

In the decades since the Medicare End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) Benefit was established, the hundreds of thousands of Americans who have experienced kidney failure had the comfort of knowing that the choice of staying on their private healthcare plans for up to 30 months before Medicare took over their care was an available option.

This choice has protected and cared for many individuals and their families, especially those who prefer to stay on their private insurance after diagnosis because often private insurance plans offer more coverage options and lower costs than Medicare, and they are able to retain coverage for family members. The Medicare Secondary Payer (MSP) program was specifically established to ensure that individuals have these options available to them.

However, the decision in the Supreme Court ruling on Marietta Memorial Hospital Employee Benefit Health Plan vs. DaVita has jeopardized this choice by effectively eliminating the crucial MSP protections Congress put in place more than 40 years ago to protect individuals with kidney disease from discrimination from their private plans. KCP, and the kidney community at large, has expressed deep disappointment in this decision and urged Congress to act to better protect patients from exclusionary measures like this.

Fortunately, a bipartisan group of lawmakers in the House and Senate are taking action!

Representatives Yvette Clarke (D-NY), Jodey Arrington (R-TX), Buddy Carter (R- GA) and Danny Davis (D-IL) and Senators Bill Cassidy (R-LA) and Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-MS) introduced the Restore Protections for Dialysis Patients Act (H.R. 8594/S. 4750) to restore protections intended by Congress in the original enactment of the language at issue in the Medicare Secondary Payor Act and to ensure individuals living with ESRD cannot be discriminated against based on their need for dialysis.

This legislation is quickly gaining support from a wide coalition of organizations across the healthcare spectrum – from patient advocates to healthcare providers. Watch the video below, featuring Dialysis Patient Citizens’ advocate Shekeila Harris, to understand why this issue is so important to individuals living with ESRD:

Numerous patient advocacy and medical organizations representing millions of people have sent letters to Congress urging them to support this vital legislation to protect against health insurance discrimination, including:

  • Access Ready
  • AIDS United
  • Allies for Independence
  • American Medical Association
  • American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
  • American Associate on Health and Disability
  • American Medical Rehabilitation Providers Association
  • American Music Therapy Association
  • American Therapeutic Recreation Association
  • American Kidney Fund
  • The Arc of the United States
  • Autistic Self Advocacy Network
  • Autistic Women & Nonbinary Network
  • Brain Injury Association of America
  • Black Women’s Health Imperative
  • Center for Medicare Advocacy
  • Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation
  • Consortium for Constituents with Disabilities
  • Diabetes Leadership Council
  • Diabetes Patient Advocacy Coalition
  • Dialysis Patient Citizens
  • Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund
  • Easterseals
  • Hepatitis B Foundation
  • Family Voices
  • Justice in Aging
  • Kidney Care Partners
  • Lupus and Allied Diseases Association, Inc.
  • Muscular Dystrophy Association
  • National Alliance for Hispanic Health
  • National Association for the Advancement of Colored People
  • National Black Nurses Association
  • National Council of Asian Pacific Islander Physicians
  • National Hispanic Medical Association
  • National Minority Quality Forum
  • National Association of Councils on Developmental Disabilities
  • National Association of State Head Injury Administrators
  • National Disability Rights Network
  • National Health Law Program
  • National Multiple Sclerosis Society
  • National Kidney Foundation
  • Renal Support Network
  • Spina Bifida Association
  • United Spinal Association
  • 60 Plus Association

KCP calls on Congress to join with individuals on dialysis and the whole kidney community in passing the Restore Protections for Dialysis Patients Act before the end of the year. Doing so will ensure that individuals on dialysis don’t lose choice and access to vital health care services when they are at their most vulnerable.