Truth be Told: Analyzing No on Prop. 23 ads about kidney dialysis

Posted at 7:49 AM, Oct 24, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-24 10:50:04-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) -- Kidney dialysis affects thousands of people a day. Proposition 23 attempts to regulate some aspects of treatment. If passed, it would require a physician, nurse practitioner on-site during dialysis treatment.

There are several ads on television, urging Californians tovote against the measure.

Dialysis has been a part of DeWayne Cox’s life for years. “I was diagnosed 12 years ago with kidney failure and I began dialysis 10 years ago,” he said.

Cox said he goes to a dialysis center three days a week. He calls Proposition 23 “unnecessary.”

“I am taken care of from the moment I walk in the door to the moment I take my walkout,” Cox said. “It makes me angry that these propositions keep being placed on public voting for people who have no idea what dialysis is.”

One No on 23 ad shows a dialysis patient saying “I could die if Prop. 23 passes because if my clinic closes, I don’t know where I’ll go for treatment.”

According to the Legislative Analyst’s Office some clinics could close.

“Given the higher costs due to the measure, some governing entities, particularly those with fewer clinics, may decide to close some clinics,” the report said.

It also said clinics could respond in other ways, like continuing current operations but with lower profits.

About 600 licensed clinics in California provide dialysis to roughly 80,000 patients each month, according to the LAO. If passed, the measure would also require the centers to regularly report dialysis-related infection information to the state.

The No campaign has major committee funding from DaVita and Fresenius—two of the biggest kidney dialysis companies—as well as U.S. Renal Care.

Californians have seen kidney dialysis propositions before. Proposition 8 in 2018 attempted to limit dialysis clinics’ revenues. The measure failed.

The Legislative Analyst’s Office said the measure could increase health care costs for state and local governments by the low tens of millions of dollars a year. Under the measure, the LAO said state Medi-Cal costs, and state and local employee and retiree health insurance costs could increase due to governing entities negotiating higher payment rates and patients requiring treatment in more costly settings like hospitals.