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California Proposition 8: Dialysis Clinics

Hemodialysis Skills Lab. Creative Commons. Resized and cropped

The country’s two biggest dialysis companies collect about 3 billion dollars a year from California dialysis clinics. Dialysis is the medical process that basically does what your kidneys should be doing, cleaning out toxins in the blood. Not only does the treatment cost about 90,000 dollars a year, but it can be a particularly grueling process for patients, who need the lengthy routine procedure.  


Proposition 8 would essentially cap dialysis clinic revenue at 15%. It would require clinics to refund their patients or their insurers if their revenue exceeds the 15% cap. The proposition would also prohibit dialysis clinics from refusing services to patients based on their method of payment.    

It’s no surprise that Proposition 8 is strongly opposed by big dialysis firms like denver-based DaVita and german owned Fresenius, who have combined to pour about 18 million dollars into the opposition campaign. The campaign argues that the proposition would lead to clinic closures and cutbacks in services, forcing patients to travel further for treatment.  

SEIU labor has raised about 6 million dollars endorsing the measure, arguing the proposition would incentivise clinics to spend revenue on healthcare improvements. They sight concern over poor sanitation and patient care in for-profit clinics, which can can lead to infections and negligent treatment of patients.

So, a no-vote on Proposition 8 means you don't want a revenue cap for dialysis clinics. A yes vote means you want a cap on revenue and stronger regulations for dialysis clinics.