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Proposition 8: Dialysis regulations

Summary: A similar concept to Measure F in Palo Alto, Prop 8 would cap revenue at dialysis clinics statewide at 115 percent of the industry standard cost of service. The proposition would affect the 80,000 Californians experiencing kidney failure who need dialysis three times a week to cleanse their blood. The dialysis industry in California is mainly controlled by two for-profit companies, DaVita and Fresenius.

Public debate:

  • For: Like Measure F, Prop 8 also has been largely backed by SEIU-UHW, the labor union representing healthcare workers. “The goal of this ballot initiative is to hold the dialysis industry accountable and improve life for patients and for the people who care for them every day,” Sean Wherley, a spokesperson for SEIU-UHW, told CalMatters.
  • Against: Dialysis companies in California have spent over $100 million on the campaign against Prop 8, given how much revenue is at stake for them. Many dialysis patients and patient-advocacy groups have voiced opposition to the measure as well, saying that the regulation would cause clinic closure and reduce accessibility to necessary treatment.

Party opinions: California Democrats recommend a Yes on Prop 8. CA GOP recommends a No vote.

Campus opinions:

Stanford Democrats echoes California Democrats’ position that overcharging in the dialysis industry must be capped to make care more affordable.

Stanford College Republicans oppose Prop 8, saying that the proposition “will fail to control cost increases because it will only encourage unions to demand greater pay (thus increasing ‘operating costs’)” and “will force many clinics to run at a loss or close.”