As Prop. 29 vote looms, dialysis patients brace for change
When Prop. 29 passes, California patients will get the chance to vote on whether to make dialysis a requirement. Their lives will change dramatically.
SAN FRANCISCO — When Californians vote Wednesday on whether they want to require dialysis for all uninsured residents, many will think of their own relatives.
Most never even heard of dialysis before the state outlawed it in 2015. Now, most of them will have to make do without it.
Many live in poverty. Some are the victims of domestic violence. Some aren’t sure what to think.
“It’s very sad,” said Kavitha Kariyal, who lives in Santa Rosa, but works on the grounds of University of California, Santa Cruz.
Many of them have family members struggling to pay the hefty bill for their care. Some don’t have family for miles around.
But Prop. 29, the proposed statewide ballot initiative championed by the Trump administration and its corporate backers, goes a step further. It would require all Californians, including those who are on Medicare or other health insurance, to be on dialysis or have it as a condition of receiving health services.
The measure would essentially gut health insurance for those who can’t afford it or those who don’t work to pay the premiums and co-pays.
Prop. 29 is being spearheaded by Scott Wallace, a California state senator who’s considered a political rising star in the Trump administration.
He’s also been backed by billionaires like the late John Koch — the billionaire scion of Koch Industries who’s now the founder and president of the Southern California business group.
The proponents of Prop. 29 say it will save the state money. They say it will save those with the income to pay for it