By Nathaniel Brown, director of advocacy
Like many of our favorite college basketball teams, some key state legislatures around the country have gone home in March. A handful of states we’re keeping a close eye on – Oregon, Washington state, Florida, and Virginia – all adjourned this month, each having made important progress and acknowledging unfinished business.
For other states – California, Rhode Island, Louisiana, Illinois, New York, and Pennsylvania – the game is still going strong. Some, like Arizona and Kentucky, are moving through the second half expecting to hear the final whistle in the coming weeks and months.
Now that the game’s over for some, we’re counting our wins and noting where we’ll need to come back stronger next year.
- Washington state passed a bill that addresses copay accumulators
- Florida passed bills that improve step therapy protocols and living organ donor protections. However, a bill to ban copay accumulators fell short. The Chronic Disease Coalition is working to support efforts already underway to ensure smooth passage next year.
- Virginia established a Renal Disease Council to improve funding and education for kidney patients in the commonwealth.
Several states are just now passing the halfway point in their legislative sessions, and some will go all year long.
- California, saw two important bills – one on step therapy and the other a precedent-setting living donor reimbursement bill – get introduced.
- Medigap expansion bills in Louisiana, Rhode Island, Maryland, and Kentucky saw progress, though right now it’s not a sure bet that they’ll emerge victorious this year.
- Copay accumulator legislation in New York and Minnesota still have a shot too.
You can find the Chronic Disease Coalition cheering from the front row.
What the Players Have to Say
The highlight within all this March madness has been our Chronic University webinar focused on the kidney patient experience. If you couldn’t join us, it’s a must-watch. We hosted two patient advocates – Gil Dong from California and Elizabeth Oldham from Ohio – who courageously shared their stories about battling kidney disease. We were also joined by Deborah Darcy, with the American Kidney Fund, who spoke about the need for federal solutions to the issues Gil and Elizabeth – and the 37 million other Americans with kidney disease – face daily.
Asm. Ash Kalra spoke about his Living Donor Reimbursement bill in California, and Rep. Brianna Titone discussed her leadership in passing a chronic kidney disease task force bill in Colorado last year. Both elected officials underscored the need to have people with lived experience making these decisions. It was an incredible conversation.
The Clock is Still Running
While we’re taking stock of wins and losses in some states, the work continues. Join our team!