Prop 23: How it affects the future of dialysis clinics and ultimately, patients

Dewayne Cox, a dialysis patient in Van Nuys for 10 years, is one of 80,000 such patients here in California. He doesn’t like Proposition 23 and he’s campaigning against this measure.

What Prop 23 would do is require dialysis clinics to always be staffed with a doctor and to require state approval before shutting down a clinic.

Cox says, "if Proposition 23 were to pass, many of these clinics would either close or start major cutbacks."

On the other hand, those supporting Prop 23 have patients doing advocacy for them too. In fact, this is proving to be an advertising battle on both sides, putting patients on the front lines. The YES and NO sides have been running ads with patients on both sides saying they could be hurt if YES wins or if NO wins.

Major funding for the YES on 23 side comes from unions, including Steve Trossman with the SEIU-United Healthcare Workers speaking for the YES side here and saying, "We believe it will make things safer in the clinics and that it will not cause clinics to close and we think it’s common sense that its a dangerous procedure and that there’s a doctor on-site to deal with emergencies."

Trossman calls dialysis a dangerous procedure. He says, "A person's blood is removed cleaned and put back into their bodies. There are lots of complications that go along with that. People have heart attacks, people lose consciousness…there are major fluctuations in blood pressure. There are thousands of 911 calls every year where people have to be taken by ambulance to the hospital so the danger is real."

Cox says, "This is the playbook that the SEIU keeps using to try to pressure the dialysis providers to take in their union to cover their staff members and the problem is that dialysis patients like me get caught in the middle. And, you’re playing Russian Roulette with our lives."

Says Trossman says, "they can easily afford to take these safety measures for improved care in the clinics and still make hundreds of millions of dollars a year here in California. The idea that they can’t afford to do this is really ludicrous."

You can read much more about all of this in your California Voter Guide. You’ll get to make the final decision on this and all of the propositions on the 2020 ballot.

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