Proposition 23 ‘takes us in the wrong direction’

La Opinion September 25, 2020 By Victoria Infante

For many civil society organizations for the rights of patients and healthcare professionals, Proposition 23 endangers the lives of those on dialysis, decreases access to doctors and increases medical costs for all.

“It will disproportionately affect patients in greatest need and those from disadvantaged and low-income communities,” wrote Alice Huffman, president of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) of the California State Conference, in the website noprop23.com , where dozens of organizations have gathered to fight against an initiative that – they believe – all it does is harm dialysis patients.

Proposition 23 seeks to have dialysis clinics have a full-time doctor, which, according to the opposing coalition, will only increase costs without a substantial improvement in the quality of care.

“Many Latinos suffer disproportionately from diabetes and high blood pressure,” said Randy Muñoz, vice president of the Latino Diabetes Association.

“Both are precursors to kidney disease and kidney failure. With more and more people, especially Latinos, African Americans, and low-income people of all races developing kidney failure and relying on dialysis, Proposition 23 leads us in the wrong direction by putting the lives of these patients in danger. unnecessary”.

Some of the reasons put forward by the coalition is that this proposition will force dialysis clinics to have a staff doctor to act as administrator, even if these professionals have nothing to do with patient care.

In other words, these doctors do not require specialized training related to kidney or dialysis.

An estimated 80,000 Californians with kidney disease receive dialysis treatments three days a week; each session lasts four hours. This procedure does the job of the kidneys, removing toxins from the body. If a patient misses a treatment, their risk of death increases by 30 percent.

When it comes to finances, Proposition 23 is estimated to increase the cost of dialysis to $ 320 million each year. That means that about half of California’s 600 clinics would be financially unsustainable, leading to the closure of these locations as well as cuts that would jeopardize access to the treatments patients need to survive.

Although the health workers union, which promotes this proposal, argues that dialysis clinics are not safe enough; so far it has not been able to demonstrate that this measure is necessary or that it will benefit patients.