What’s the Big Idea?
Should California require dialysis clinics to issue refunds for revenue they make over 115 percent of certain costs?
The Way It Is Now
About 80,000 Californians with failing kidneys get dialysis three times a week to cleanse their blood. Just two for-profit companies, DaVita and Fresenius, operate 72 percent of the California dialysis clinics, and they garner higher profits than hospitals in California. Health care unions want these clinics to redirect some revenue into higher wages and safety improvements.
What If It Passes?
The measure would limit how much clinics could charge patients’ insurers for dialysis: If the charge exceeded 115 percent of direct treatment costs, then the company would have to refund the excess revenue in the form of yearly rebates to insurance companies. That formula would effectively cap revenue at 15 percent.
The profit-driven dialysis industry has been cutting corners on patient safety. The new revenue cap will force clinic operators to spend more money on actual treatment, if they also want to maintain profits.
The proposed revenue cap is too arbitrary and rigid. Dialysis clinics won’t even be able to cover their actual costs, so companies will close locations, endangering patients. It’s not right that a union has decided to push a novel and unprecedented regulation in the hopes it will indirectly increase wages.
YES for Proposition 8
NO for Proposition 8