Here is what’s happening: two companies-DaVita and Fresenius-provide most of the kidney dialysis services in the U.S. They want Congress to force kidney patients to stay on private insurance for a longer period of time before they can qualify for Medicare.
Usually, patients need to be 65 years old before they qualify for Medicare. But in 1972, because the high cost of dialysis put care out of reach for all but the wealthiest patients, Congress made the historic decision to extend Medicare coverage to dialysis patients of all ages. But patients who need dialysis have to stay on private insurance for 30 months before they are eligible for Medicare. DaVita and Fresenius want to make patients wait longer-another year-before they can get access to the program.
It’s not hard to figure out why DaVita and Fresenius want to keep kidney patients out of Medicare. These companies can typically charge private insurers-and ultimately employers and workers-nearly three times more than they can charge Medicare for the same services.
It’s staggering how much money is at stake with this “small” change. It’s estimated that dialysis providers like DaVita and Fresenius would cash in a $2 billion…over five years”
This note would have escaped my attention unless kidney dialysis was not personal. Mrs. rdan’s brother had an infection in a knee from minor surgery that somehow spread. In three months either the infection or the massive antibiotics to treat the infection caused scarring in both kidneys to the point of shutdown. His job involved quotas which he found he could not maintain when on dialysis due to impaired stamina, which also takes 3-4 hours times three a week to live, so he lost his job, and access over time to insurance.
He had worked at this company for ten years and was a good worker.
What, if any, help does a community offer for the random events of the universe?