Author: Victoria

The Election Guide for Patients

The Election Guide for Patients

As Prop. 29 vote looms, dialysis patients brace for change in their lives

“It doesn’t matter which party is in power, what matters is what side you’re on. I’m on the side of patients, so of course I’m on the side of Prop. 29.” — David Hildebrand

On the day California voters head to the polls in statewide elections, dialysis patients and their families will be listening to their legislators and making their plans to lobby them on a host of issues.

Prop. 29, the California initiative that voters will decide on Tuesday, would give patients control over their dialysis treatment via a patient bill of rights. It would also give them the power to choose a medical team, including a nephrologist, a dialysis center, and other health care personnel, without interference from insurance companies, dialysis companies or the state.

Proposition 29, which voters refer to as “Measurable Choice,” was drafted by the Health Care Cost Containment System — the program that controls the health care system in California — with help from the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research, the National Institute on Aging, and other non-profit organizations.

The initiative is a major victory for dialysis patients, their families, patients’ families, dialysis providers, health care professionals, patients’ advocates, and other constituencies who stand to lose out, if Proposition 29 passes.

But they do not yet know how they will vote on Tuesday by mail, and they could have a say, too, when they vote in person. Patients’ voices will be amplified most at those polling places where patients have organized to show their support for Prop. 29.

An election guide for patients

The election guide for patients, which the dialysis provider Health Net has provided, describes the vote this way:

“There is no telling how Prop. 29 will play. However, if you’re a patient and you have seen or read Prop. 29 in other states, you should remember two things: the key issues are those you’re probably already familiar with (like controlling the health care you receive), and the other really important matters are how the issues are presented to voters and how the media report on them. You cannot predict what will go into a polling booth. However, if we are

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