President Trump has issued an executive order aimed at improving the lives of those with kidney disease. Unfortunately, kidney disease is a common reason for people to apply for Social Security disability benefits. In fact, needing kidney dialysis is one of the few conditions that will result in Social Security immediately granting disability benefits.
43,000 Deaths Per Year
While some degree of kidney problems are inevitable as we age, it is no trivial matter. Upwards of 43,000 Americans
die each year from kidney disease. Many of these people could have had their lives extended if they had gotten a kidney transplant.
The executive order does three things. First, it increases the reimbursement available to living kidney donors. Generally, the donors do not pay for the cost of extracting the kidney they will donate. But, there are additional costs, such as time off of work to recover. Second, the executive order streamlines the process of getting kidneys removed from the deceased to those who need them. Finally, the executive order will attempt to introduce more competition and better service among those few organizations that provide dialysis treatment. At present, only two companies control 83% of the dialysis market. They would seem to have little motive to provide cheaper and better dialysis.
Credit Where Due
I have given President Trump a lot of grief in this blog. But, I must also give credit to him where it is due. This
executive order could save the lives of tens of thousands of Americans and improve the quality of life of millions more. Well done.