Jason Smith's Bill Eliminating Federal Coverage Barriers for Kidney Failure Patients Advances to President's Desk
Washington, D.C. - Today, the United States Senate passed U.S. Rep. Jason Smith’s (MO-08) bill to remove a federal restriction that prevents patients with kidney failure from accessing the high-quality, affordable health care coverage options they direly need, sending it to the President’s desk to be signed into law. Smith’s bill H.R. 5659, the Expanding Seniors Receiving Dialysis (ESRD) Choice Act of 2016, was included in the larger health package, H.R. 34 the 21st Century Cures Act, that promotes innovation and advancements in technology, eliminates regulations that stifle competition, provides resources to combat the growing opioid epidemic, and ensures critical support for those struggling with mental health.
“This legislation came about after meeting and hearing from families in southeast and south central Missouri. For too long, some of the sickest Americans have been denied access to the quality health care that they desperately need. Patients suffering from kidney failure need better options when choosing the best health care services during their road to recovery and shouldn’t face restrictions from the federal government. I am excited to see my legislation make it to the President's desk and am eager to see how this medical innovation package ushers in new ways to treat patients around the country, especially patients suffering from kidney failure” Smith stated upon passage in the Senate.
The 21st Century Cures Act, is included in the package to improve the National Institutes of Health and Food and Drug Administration. Smith’s bill H.R. 5659, the ESRD Choice Act of 2016, removes the federal restriction so patients with kidney failure can enroll in Medicare Advantage—providing patients with more affordable, effective, and integrated health care. Smith introduced the ESRD Choice Act in July where it was then advanced by the Ways and Means Committee and then passed by the U.S. House of Representatives by a vote of 423-0 in September. The 21st Century Cures Act passed the U.S. House of Representatives last week by a vote of 392-26 and today passed the U.S. Senate by a vote of 94-5. Summaries for the 21st Century Cures Act and Smith’s ESRD Choice Act can be found here and here.