As a facility administrator and a licensed dietitian for DaVita HealthCare Partners in Belleville, taxpayers need to know that lives are at stake as lawmakers consider budget cuts affecting people who require life-sustaining kidney dialysis treatments.
In Illinois alone, more than 5,000 people who depend on the state’s Medicaid program as their insurance provider receive dialysis treatments. But as lawmakers struggle to make a balanced budget, some people are advocating for a savings of $30 million by eliminating access to dialysis treatments for some patients and reducing reimbursement rates for others.
Cutting services that provide life-sustaining treatment should not be a negotiable budget item. When dialysis clinics can no longer afford to serve uninsured or underinsured patients, then publicly-funded emergency rooms and hospitals will incur the much higher costs of treating these patients on dialysis.
I urge lawmakers to do the right thing and maintain funding for kidney dialysis patients.
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