The dialysis industry just set a campaign spending record to fight California limits on pricing


#1

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2018/10/31/111-million.html


#2

Not your kidneys any more…


#3

So how much profit are these ghouls / bloodsuckers making if they can afford that much just on a campaign?
“Our inability to make obscene profits means we will close facilities and patients will suffer” surely means “It is an open and free market and someone will be along to fill the gap soon enough” (assuming it is not a cartel) . Sadly, however, whilst that might work for consumer goods, it does not work for health services - how many will die while the market corrects itself? This is why the US marketised healthcare “system” (pah!) is a very bad thing.


#4

Invest $100 million.
Reap $10 billion.
What part is hard to understand?


#5

John Oliver on dialysis:

“… in 1972 though something amazing happened Richard Nixon yes Richard Nixon signed a bill into law which said that the government would pay for dialysis for anyone who needed it which is really incredible essentially we have universal health care in this country for one organ in the body it’s like your kidneys and only your kidneys are Canadian …”

“… treating end-stage kidney disease takes up nearly 1% of the entire federal budget …”

Update: split paragraph in two.


#6

Wow, it’s like California is steadily becoming more sane, while (most of) the rest of the country loses it’s collective shit.

From this law, similar laws can be made to gradually socialize medicine, at least in California. Godspeed, and may the force be with you.


#7

I worked for one of the companies in question and I gotta say…they were shady.


#8

Unfortunately the Intercept’s coverage glosses over some important backstory.

The for profit dialysis clinics are abominably rapacious companies, and deserve a nice warm place in hell. But prop 8 is not about patient health or cost. Instead, the Service Employees International Union - Health Care West tried and failed to organize employees at the clinics (and also at Stanford medical center).

So in an F-U to the dialysis clinics, SEIU-HCW paid for prop 8 and a couple of local measures (targeting Stanford Medical center) to be put on the ballot and is the only one paying for pro prop 8 ads and have bought a lot of those too, close to $20M.

These measures are basically designed to punish the companies for the union’s failure to be attractive enough to the employees that the employees were willing to unionize. So having failed in their unionization attempts, the SEIU is instead just trying to burn the whole thing down.

The real testament to how bad prop 8 are: The insurance companies aren’t pouring in money for prop 8, and the other big organizations (like the California Nurses Association) have come out strongly against prop 8.

The collateral damage is likely to be significant if it passes.


#9

Capitalizing on vulnerable people is one the worst results of “financial freedom”


#10

Spending controls on dialysis has created all sorts of weirdness. I learned a lot researching a non-sterile dialysis method about 17 years ago (it worked in animals, but we couldn’t figure out how to make any money, much less pay for the clinical trials. Ask for details if you are curious).

At the time, payments for dialysis had been capped and unchanged for 20 years. Inflation and costs increased, but income per patient didn’t. The dialysis clinics had to become extremely efficient. They eventually turned into these mass production clinics with one nephrologist on staff serving hundreds of patients. The places made good money because of economies of scale at every level. But they had to stay ruthlessly efficient in order keep the doors open. People running them did not always have the best reputation.

Maybe caps were increased some times since then. But it was caps that created the industry we see today.


#11

My part-time job while still in school: Working on patients’ diagnostics records at a local clinic. Oh, the stories I could tell.


#12

This is the trickiest CA prop. On the one hand it seems obvious that these dialysis companies are vampires and awful, awful entities, on the other hand you have these dialysis patients on TV commercials saying “guys you are literally trying to murder me, here is a photo of my grandson.”


#13

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