The bipartisan Congressional Kidney Caucus was founded by Representatives Jim McDermott (D-WA) and Mark Kirk (R-IL) in March 2002. The purpose of the Caucus is to educate Congress and the public about the problem kidney disease poses for our society and to educate Congress and the public about the federal government’s singular role in providing access to life-sustaining treatment for those Americans with the severest form of chronic kidney disease (CKD), stage 5 CKD (see below chart).
The Kidney Caucus provides a forum for the discussion of quality of care and life issues, acts as a resource on the scope and impact of kidney disease and serves as a source of information on public policy initiatives to aid individuals with CKD and irreversible kidney failure.
Take action: Please contact your representative ask them to join the Kidney Caucus.
The primary goals of the Kidney Caucus are:
- Increase awareness in Congress concerning the impact of kidney disease and its complications on the health and well-being of the American people.
- Educate Congress and staff about kidney disease and its complications.
- Position itself as an advocate for individuals suffering from kidney disease.
- Identify and create initiatives to slow or reverse the epidemic of kidney disease in this country, and commit resources to successfully implement these initiatives.
- Call attention to the urgent need for research funding to better understand the causes of this chronic disease and the potential for improvements in prevention and management.
- Increase the successes and meet the challenges of Medicare’s End-stage Renal Disease Program for dialysis patients and transplant recipients.
- Encourage appropriate federal departments and agencies to play a coordinated role in the response to kidney disease.
- Increase awareness of the need for early identification of kidney disease.
- Evaluate alternative payment policies to improve care for millions of Americans with kidney disease.
Check to see if your Representative is currently a member of the Kidney Caucus. If they are a member, send them a thank you email or tweet. If they aren’t a member, send them an email or tweet to asking them to consider joining the caucus.