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AirTalk debates 2018 ballot initiatives: Prop 8 — restrict profits for kidney dialysis clinics

Giraldo Garcia, 54, gets dialysis at DaVita Dialysis Center in Inglewood in Aug. 2014.
Giraldo Garcia, 54, gets dialysis at DaVita Dialysis Center in Inglewood in Aug. 2014.
Irfan Khan/LA Times via Getty Images

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Prop 8, the “Limits on Dialysis Clinics' Revenue and Required Refunds Initiative,” proposes clinics that administer life-saving kidney dialysis treatments be required to refund patients and insurance companies a certain percentage of their revenue.

Any profit over 15% that is not spent directly improve patient-care would be returned to the payer at the end of the fiscal year under penalty of fine. Prop 8 was put forth by the Service Employees International Union, United Healthcare Workers West (UHW-West) which is also in the process of an organizing campaign targeting two major dialysis clinics. The union has been accused of advancing the legislation as a bargaining tactic.

Supporters say Prop 8 will encourage clinics to apply profits to improvements that result in bettering patient care (facilities, equipment, wages) to dissuade overcharging for critical treatment, increase the quality of patient care, and push overall cost related to the patient care down. Opponents, which include the California Medical Association, say the limits restrict what insurance companies have to pay for treatment and will force clinics to close, therefor restricting access to life saving treatment.

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Emerson Padua, spokesperson for the “Yes on 8” campaign; a patient care technician for Fresenius Medical Care that specializes in the production of medical supplies

DeWayne Cox, a dialysis patient, who represents the “No on Prop 8” coalition