On October 12, 2017, President Trump used the power of the Executive Order to undermine parts of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and open the door to a health insurance marketplace that will leave individuals with pre-existing and chronic health care conditions, such as chronic kidney disease (CKD), unprotected. President Trump took two actions that will cause many individuals with pre-existing conditions to be unable to afford health insurance.
The first Executive Order, signed yesterday, allows for a health insurance market to create a two-tiered insurance market; one for sick individuals and one for younger healthy individuals. The second eliminates subsidies to insurance companies who are required to lower premiums and cost-sharing for low income individuals – making it more plausible that more insurers will leave the marketplace. Both moves make it likely that individuals with chronic conditions, including chronic kidney disease, will be unable to afford health insurance in the marketplace. If patients with CKD are left with little access to healthcare they will have difficulty getting care necessary to slow or prevent the progression of their disease. This will result in higher costs to Medicaid, Medicare and insurers.
Kidney transplant recipients who are under 65, and whose Medicare coverage will end 36 months post-transplant, also will have fewer options to obtain health insurance, limiting their ability to afford the anti-rejection medications they need to keep their kidney transplant.
The National Kidney Foundation calls on President Trump to keep his promise to protect people with pre-existing conditions and rescind these Executive orders.
Kidney Disease Facts
30 million American adults are estimated to have chronic kidney disease—and most aren’t aware of it. 1 in 3 American adults are at risk for chronic kidney disease. Risk factors for kidney disease include diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity and family history of kidney failure. People of African American, Hispanic, Native American, Asian or Pacific Islander descent are at increased risk for developing the disease. African Americans are 3 times more likely than Whites, and Hispanics are nearly 1.5 times more likely than non-Hispanics to develop end stage renal disease (kidney failure).
People with pre-existing conditions need health care the most. Making it inaccessible by raising the price is inexcusable. When my husband and myself were young and healthy, we didn’t pay less for health insurance because we didn’t have pre-existing conditions. We paid the same price as everyone else. Why should we have to pay more now at a time when we’re both so vulnerable?
I am thankful that I still get my health insurance through my job, but I shudder to think about what would happen to me if I lost it. As someone who has had a kidney transplant, my immuno-suppresant medication costs over $1000.00 per month.
My husband recently had a stroke and lost his job and we are currently paying for his health insurance through Cobra since I cannot put him on my plan. This is very expensive, but it will run out soon. Does this mean that people who have a pre-existing condition, but don’t have enough money shouldn’t have access to health care or worse yet, that they and their condition should be ignored? This clearly targets the most vulnerable among us as well as older people. Very unfair.
There is something wrong with this equation!!!!