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Congressman Jason Smith

Representing the 8th District of Missouri

U.S. House Passes Rep. Jason Smith's Bill to Increase Coverage Options for those with Kidney Failure

Sep 21, 2016
Press Release

U.S. House Passes Rep. Jason Smith’s Bill to Increase Coverage Options for those with Kidney Failure

 Smith’s bill gives Americans Suffering with End Stage Renal Disease the health care options they deserve

Washington, D.C.- Today, the U.S. House of Representatives unanimously passed Congressman Jason Smith’s bill, H.R. 5659, the Expanding Seniors Receiving Dialysis’ (ESRD) Choice Act with bipartisan support. Smith’s bill expands access to high-quality, affordable health care coverage options for Americans suffering from kidney failure by removing current federal restrictions that block patients with End Stage Renal Disease from enrolling in certain medical plans like Medicare Advantage. 

Prior to passage of his bill Smith commented, “The vulnerable patients suffering from End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) deserve access to the right doctors and the right treatment at the most affordable cost. Unfortunately, I heard from several folks in southeast and south central Missouri suffering from kidney failure who have been denied that access and option by the federal government.” Smith continued, “Patients suffering from kidney failure deserve the same health care choices that all Americans have. My bill will help ensure that the over 640,000 Americans diagnosed with ESRD benefit from having new options for care and coverage which are currently disallowed in federal statute.”

There are over 640,000 Americans, 11,000 of those in Missouri who are currently diagnosed with kidney failure, or ESRD. Under the current law, patients with the pre-existing condition of ESRD are the only disease group specifically denied the ability to enroll in more flexible care Medicare Advantage plans. Smith’s bill will expand the options for ESRD patients and allow them to choose these plans by ending the current federal restriction.

Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady (R-TX) said, “Patients suffering from a costly and debilitating disease should not be shut out of federal programs proven to deliver high-quality, affordable care-programs like Medicare Advantage. Thanks to Congressman Smith’s leadership, the House just passed legislation to help ensure our sickest patients have access to the life-saving treatment they need, regardless of the disease they have.” 

After passage, Smith remarked, “The passage of my bill today will ensure that those suffering from kidney failure are protected. America deserves these types of solutions to improve our health care system. Americans, not the federal government, should be in control of choosing the best heath care options for those in need.”