Congressional Corner – December: A year of DPC Advocacy Successes!

By Carrie L. Director of Congressional and State Relations

DPC Patient Ambassador, Gary Barron, meeting with Hill staff during the 2012 World Kidney Day  Fly-In

DPC Patient Ambassador, Gary Barron, meeting with Hill staff during the 2012 World Kidney Day Fly-In

As 2012 comes to an end, DPC has a lot to celebrate and a lot to look forward to. DPC staff and most importantly our members, have achieved so much this year, bringing awareness to kidney disease issues both in Congress and in their communities!

Patient Ambassadors held dozens of kidney and dialysis awareness events across the country in support of World Kidney Day and other events throughout the year. Patient Ambassadors taught members of their churches and civic organizations as well as youth in schools about the importance of keeping your kidneys healthy. Many Patient Ambassadors attended Kidney Days at their state capitals where they educated state and local lawmakers about public policies related to dialysis patients and treatments. We even sponsored California’s Kidney Day at the Capital event in Sacramento! At the federal level, members sent over 800 letters and emails to their Members of Congress on important policy topics like immunosuppressive drug coverage and preventing additional cuts to Medicare. 30 DPC Patient Ambassadors and members of the Board of Directors joined us in Washington, DC on World Kidney Day to personally meet with their congressional delegations. Of course the event was a great success!

We were quite busy on the advocacy front as well this year holding well over 300 meetings with Members of Congress. DPC cohosted a congressional briefing on kidney health disparities with the Urban League that was attended by congressional staff and at which DPC Board President, Eric Edwards, spoke on behalf of patients. Advocacy campaigns were conducted in 11 states this year on important issues like preserving funding for nutritional supplements and transportation as well as preventing cuts to Medicaid. We also met with officials from numerous Administration offices including the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the Food and Drug Administration and the Department of Treasury among others. Through these meetings, we were able to ensure that the Medicare Secondary Payer law will apply in the state health exchanges, allowing dialysis patients to keep or buy private health coverage within the insurance exchanges.

DPC could not achieve as much as it does without the generous and plentiful help of ALL of you! We appreciate all of the great efforts in 2012 and look forward to continued support and more importantly continued success in 2013! Have a safe, happy and healthy holiday season and a fantastic new year!


  1. Blenda Minor says:

    I would like your assistance in helping to establish the necessary infrastructure needed for patients desiring home hemodialysis when they lack the necessary family support required to complete the training needed for this form of dialysis treatment. I finally found a senior citizen support wellness group that would be willing to help but the nurse available to do the training says there are liability issues that have to be worked out. Please respond I need DPC to get involved. Fresenius says that they would like to see home dialysis expand for patients that would benefit from it.

  2. ladonna copeland says:

    my name is ladonna copeland and i am a dialysis patient . and i been on dialysis for fifteen years and i been on both dialysis treatments. one of the treatments like to killed me. but i use medicare for one of my insurance to cover my kidney dialysis treatment and all the medicines i take everyday.but when i got that paper that u r cuttin medicare on dialysis patients thats when i speak up let u know how i feel cause i need it so does many others that on dialysis to. we would like for u to concern about r rights to. so please not cut medicare we really do need it. cause lots of kidney patients cant pay for their treatments and medicines either. ladonna copeland

  3. my name is ladonna copeland and im a hemodialysis patient for fifteen years would u please not cut medicare cause us kidney patients use it for treatments and medical and medicines to. please to may concern we dont wont it cut at all. thank u ladonna copeland

  4. Hi Ladonna. Thanks for your comment and for sharing your concerns. Please know that DPC shares your concerns and is doing everything we can to help kidney and dialysis patients get the best possible coverage and care. To be clear, Medicare is not cutting dialysis benefits or services so you will still have coverage for your treatments. We are working to make sure any cuts to Medicare (likely to health care provider payments) do not impact dialysis patients’ quality of care more than any other group of patients. Also we are working to make sure that dialysis patients have access to all forms of health insurance as health reform unfolds and this will help you keep coverage for treatments and medications.

  5. We have a new resolve to be stronger and more active in advocating for and educating the public, especially the lawmakers in Washington DC. We are committed to getting all the support we can for the benefit of kidney patients all over the country. We are about to start a new year with fresh ideas to educate our Congress of the unique life people on dialysis and transplant patients need in order to live. We are constituents and live productive lives. But we need help from the government for life to be available to us. Wishing all of you a Blessed Holiday Season and a Most Happy New Year,

  6. Sarah Holmes says:

    I would love to receive information regarding kidney disease I am a dialysis patient my address is 4356 criwdy apt awd-y Boulevard apartment a Suffolk Virginia23435

  7. Helpful information. Fortunate me I discovered your web site unintentionally, and I’m stunned why this twist of fate did not happened in advance! I bookmarked it.

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