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Kidney Care Community Applauds National Taxpayers Union's Endorsement of Medicare Reforms to Extend Patient Private Health Insurance Coverage; Calls Proposal 'Common Sense Coverage Reform'
Date:4/28/2008

delivering expanded choice for ESRD patients and recognizable savings for Medicare," said Edward Jones, M.D., Chairman of Kidney Care Partners. "We hope Congress will recognize the importance of enacting this critical reform - which could greatly advance patient care for a portion of the ESRD patient population and deliver more than $1 billion in savings over the next five years to improve the ESRD benefit - as it examines Medicare reform proposals in coming weeks."

Each year, more than 100,000 Americans are diagnosed with End Stage Renal Disease and require dialysis or a kidney transplant in order to survive. Today, approximately 485,000 patients in the United States are living with kidney failure, and that number is expected to double in the next decade due to a dramatic rise in diabetes - the number one cause of kidney disease - as well as co-morbid conditions such as high blood pressure and obesity.

According to 2007 Congressional Budget Office data, extending private coverage from 30 to 60 months would save Medicare $1.02 billion over five years and $3.07 billion over 10 years. Extending coverage from 30 to 42 months, as proposed in the 2007 Children's Health and Medicare Protection (CHAMP) Act, would save $400 million over five years and $1.2 billion over 10 years. Although NTU opposed the CHAMP Act in its final form, it supports certain provisions of the bill - such as PCE - as being beneficial in controlling Medicare costs.

While some critics of PCE have charged that it would shift greater costs to employers, recent market analyses maintain that only about 3 percent - approximately 8,100 kidney patients nationally - would be affected by the policy. The NTU commentary stated that such a cost shift to employers would not remain for long, if at all, and that "the fiscal pluses to taxpayers would be direct and substantial, and the effect on health insurance costs would be less significant."

"We are pleased with the NTU's recog
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SOURCE Kidney Care Partners
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