President Trump on Wednesday told the government to revamp the nation’s care for kidney disease, so that more people whose kidneys fail have a chance at early transplants and home dialysis.
Trump signed an executive order Wednesday calling for strategies that have the potential to save lives and millions of Medicare dollars.
“Today we are taking ground-breaking action to bring new hope to millions of Americans suffering from kidney disease, a big deal,” Trump said during an event at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center.
“We are fighting by your side and are determined to get you the best treatment anywhere in the world,” he said, adding later that his health care policies like his foreign policies put Americans first.
“America First,” he said. “American patients first.”
The president, backed by other administration officials and people who are living with kidney disease, also brought up other health care initiatives his administration has undertaken, like trying to lower prescription drug costs and making hospital billing more transparent.
And he predicted that US researchers would one day create artificial replacement kidneys.
“It will happen. That’ll happen,” he said.
But the changes won’t happen overnight as some of the initiatives will require new government regulations.
And because a severe organ shortage complicates the call for more transplants, the administration also aims to ease financial hardships for living donors and wants to help to help the groups that collect deceased donations do a better job.
Federal health officials have made clear for months that they intend to shake up a system that today favors expensive, time-consuming dialysis in large centers over easier-to-tolerate at-home care or transplants that help patients live longer.
About 30 million American adults have chronic kidney disease, costing Medicare a staggering $113 billion.