California Voters to Weigh-In on Dialysis Industry Through Prop. 8

California Voters to Weigh-In on Dialysis Industry Through Prop. 8

Max Rodriguez

A proposition in this year’s ballot is looking to cut treatment cost down for dialysis treatment but opponent of the proposition claim it may do more harm than good.

Bert Myers gets dialysis to clean his kidneys three times a week for almost nine years.

Myers said, “Many times it is very invasive, you just feel completely washed out after my treatments.”

The treatments are no joke. Myers said his energy is depleted after going through dialysis, he spoke softly from his bed at Desert Regional Medical Center.

Dialysis requires his blood to travel through a machine that functions as a filter, the treatment can last a few hours but without it he said it is a for sure death.

Myers said, “Let’s put it this way, I know people who have quit and were dead in a week.”

Less than one percent of Californians get dialysis treatment, but voters will weigh-in on Prop. 8 involving the dialysis treatment industry.

Supporters of Prop. 8 want to cap the profits of dialysis clinics at 15% the extra revenue would have to go back to whoever paid for the treatment, such as an insurance company or the patient if it is paid out of pocket.

Emerson Padua is a dialysis technician and he will vote “Yes on Prop. 8”.

Padua said, “Do you truly believe they will give refund and rebates to the insurance company?”

He believes the cap in revenue will give clinics incentive to reinvest profits into direct patient care expenses.

Padua said, “Any excessive profits any obscene profits can go back to allowable cost.”

But the “No on Prop. 8” campaign said, sure, in a perfect world an incentive might work, but the proposition makes no assurance the extra revenue would be re-invested in patient care by the clinics.

They claim the cap in profits may force clinics to shut down, therefore a no vote keeps the status quo.

Dewayne Cox will is a dialysis patient and he support the “No on Prop. 8” campaign.

Cox said, “If facilities are closed because of this proposition and we end up in emergency rooms that are already crowded.”

Cox said the proposition is vague and it will not improve care for patients.

He said, “How are they helping patients by taking services and funding away from us.”

Proposition 8 is the most expensive in this year’s midterm election, both together the campaigns have spent over $120,000,000. Most of the money for the “Yes” vote is coming from a union, Service Employees International Union-United Healthcare Workers West.

While the majority of the money for the “No” on Prop. 8 is coming from DaVita Kidney Care and Fresenius Medical Care two major companies with hundreds of dialysis clinics in the country.

As for Myers, this election will be over even before he has a chance to get into the wait-list for a kidney transplant.

Myers said, “I didn’t even know what a kidney was and who knows how many people understand what the problem really is.”