Dialysis Industry Is Spending Big — $2.5 Million — to Avoid Oversight in California

A patient is prepped for dialysis at St. Joseph Hospital Renal Center in Orange in this undated photo. (Credit: Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times)

A patient is prepped for dialysis at St. Joseph Hospital Renal Center in Orange in this undated photo. (Credit: Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times)

The dialysis industry spent about $2.5 million in California on lobbying and campaign contributions in the first half of this year in its ongoing battle to thwart regulation, according to a California Healthline analysis of campaign finance reports filed with the state.

Last year, dialysis companies poured a record-breaking $111 million into a campaign to defeat a ballot initiative, Proposition 8, that would have capped their profits.

This year’s political spending, which includes an online and broadcast advertising blitz, is aimed at killing a bill in the state Legislature that would disrupt the industry’s business model — and probably reduce its profits. The dialysis industry counters that the bill would threaten some low-income patients’ access to the lifesaving treatment.

“Nobody is spending $2.5 million out of the goodness of their hearts,” said David Vance, a spokesman for Common Cause, a nonprofit group that advocates for campaign finance reform. “That kind of money is spent to get the attention of legislators and to get results.”

Read the full story on LATimes.com.

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