Kidney Patients are Back on Capitol Hill – Virtually!

March 01, 2021, 12:02pm EST

More than 230 kidney patients, living kidney donors, and care partners will meet virtually with their Members of Congress this Tuesday, March 2nd as part of the National Kidney Foundation’s largest Kidney Patient Summit to date. This year we are once again thrilled to be joined by our kidney community partners including the Alport Syndrome Foundation, Home Dialyzors United, IGA Nephropathy Foundation of America, Nephcure Kidney International, and PKD Foundation.

Making our mark on kidney policy

Last year, advocacy by many of these same patients led directly to the passage of the Comprehensive Immunosuppressive Drug Coverage for Kidney Transplant Patients Act, following years of tireless work. This year, advocates are continuing to make their mark on kidney policy by sharing their stories and experiences and highlighting how other consequential pieces of legislation will help improve kidney health nationwide.

These bills include:

  1. Living Donor Protection Act (S. 377/H.R. 1255) would end life, long-term care, and disability insurance discrimination against living organ donors in issuance and pricing, as well as codify the Family and Medical Leave Act protection for living organ donors;
  2. The CARE for Home Dialysis Act promotes home dialysis by reducing out-of-pocket costs, creating incentives for providers, and allowing staff assistance; and
  3. Increased appropriations funding for the Center for Disease Control’s Chronic Kidney Disease Program and for NIH’s kidney research and programs.

Our advocates will also have the opportunity to attend NKF’s Virtual Congressional Awards Reception, which will honor two outstanding champions in the fight against kidney disease, Senator Bill Cassidy (R-LA) and Rep. Donald Payne (D-NJ). Our honorees have consistently co-sponsored legislation to improve the lives of kidney patients and living donors.

Celebrating advocates

They will also celebrate the extraordinary work of one of their fellow advocates with the presentation of the Richard K. Salick Advocacy Award. This prestigious honor is given annually to an individual who embodies the spirit of NKF’s dear friend and former colleague, Rich Salick, a former pro-surfer who underwent three kidney transplants and faced cancer but still put the needs of other kidney patients ahead of his own.

Become a Voices for Kidney Health advocate, follow us on Twitter @nkf_advocacy, and find us on all social media platforms using the hashtag #MyKidneysMyLife.

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