California voters defeat initiative to put brakes on dialysis profits

Voters in California rejected an initiative in the 2018 midterms to cap dialysis profits, according to a Desert Sun report.

Proposition 8, known as the Fair Pricing for Dialysis Act, sought to shrink the profits of dialysis clinics in the state. The initiative required clinics to give rebates to insurers and pay a penalty on business revenues over 115 percent of certain costs to provide care.

As of 12:30 a.m. pacific time Nov. 7, with more than half of precincts reporting, 61 percent of voters had voted against the measure, according to the Palm Springs publication..

The initiative was sponsored by Service Employees International Union-United Healthcare Workers West and opposed by various healthcare groups, including dialysis companies DaVita, U.S. Renal Care and Fresenius Medical Care.

Overall, supporters and opponents of the measure contributed about $130 million during the campaign, according to the Desert Sun, reportedly making it one of the most expensive initiatives in California history.

Opponents said dialysis clinics wouldn't be able to cover their operating costs, clinics would close, and patients would lose access to dialysis if Proposition 8 passed. Supporters argued the measure would curb dialysis industry profits and compel dialysis companies to spend more money on patient care.

The union has announced its plan to refile the initiative for the 2020 ballot in California. 

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