Among the scores of programs facing federal budget cuts under sequestration, Medicare and Medicaid will see a funding loss of more than nine-percent for the care of dialysis patients. Jack Reynolds, a central Iowa native and vice president of the non-profit group Dialysis Patient Citizens, says more than 23-hundred Iowans need dialysis three times a week to stay alive.
One in seven Americans has kidney disease. Diabetes and high blood pressure are the two top causes of kidney failure, and with diabetes at “epidemic” proportions in the U-S, Reynolds says this course of action by Congress is foolhardy.
Reynolds is a 61-year-old Carlisle native and has been on dialysis thrice weekly for 39 years — since his kidneys failed when he was 22. The cuts in Medicare and Medicaid payments are scheduled for January and may force dialysis clinics to cut back hours, cut staff, or in a worst case, close, which Reynolds says would cause a ripple effect of problems for dialysis patients.