A fundamental promise of the health reform law is, as President Barack Obama so often put it, “If you like the coverage you have, you can keep it.” Individuals who enroll in health exchanges and are diagnosed with kidney failure should be granted the same right to maintain their private insurance as individuals with group health coverage purchased outside the exchanges. The health reform law sought equal treatment for Americans seeking health care coverage. The law did not intend for Americans with kidney failure and who have coverage under the exchanges to be treated any differently.
I truly believe in the extraordinary potential of the new health reform law and its ability to help patients with special needs such as those with kidney disease, and I commend the president and Congress for their leadership and foresight for making access to health care for everyone a reality. Now, on World Kidney Day, I urge our policymakers to get all of the details right in the health care reform law, especially the details ensuring equality for Americans with kidney failure.
Former Georgetown University and National Basketball Association star Alonzo Mourning suffered kidney failure in 2001, received a transplant, then returned to help the Miami Heat win the NBA title.
Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., right, hugs Harold Schaitberger, General President of the International Association of Fire Fighters, after the Congressman spoke at the IAFF's Legislative Conference General Session at the Hyatt Regency on Capitol Hill, March 9, 2015. The day featured addresses by members of Congress and Vice President Joe Biden.