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Momentum Builds in Florida Legislature to Rename Proposed Legislation After Miami Heat Fan Favorite and NBA All-Star Alonzo Mourning
Date:4/23/2009

r the bill and supports renaming the legislation, said, "Alonzo is a remarkable human being. He had a lot of choices in his recent retirement, and he chose a path to help others -- specifically, those struggling with kidney disease and kidney failure. One day many years from now, many will remember him for his remarkable athletic achievements, but many more will remember him for how he helped millions of Americans afflicted with this dreadful disease. That is his legacy."

"My passion and focus for advocating for kidney patients is even greater now that I have officially retired from professional basketball and can devote more time to my charity pursuits to help others," added Mourning, who shares his experiences, trials and triumphs on and off the courts with the publication of his first book titled, Resilience. "I was fortunate enough to be able to have excellent care and a kidney transplant which made all the difference in my life. I am proud to do all I can to help my fellow patients attain access to this care by supporting this important legislation."

Two populations qualify for Medicare coverage: individuals over age 65, and those under 65 who meet certain conditions, including the diagnosis of ESRD. While Medicare covers most medical costs, it requires patients to pay deductibles and co-pays. Most patients have secondary insurance to help with these costs. However, approximately 2,000 kidney patients in Florida under age 65 have no secondary insurance coverage, and cannot afford their deductibles and co-pays. As a result, they often experience delays and roadblocks for critical medical services because of the required upfront payments, and are forced to turn to the state's Medicaid program for support -- impoverishing themselves and often their families to qualify.

"Speaking on behalf of the thousands of patients we are proud to serve in Florida, we urge state legislators to allow these pati
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SOURCE National Kidney Foundation of Florida
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