As ballots begin to arrive in mailboxes across Oregon and Washington, it’s important to think about how various initiatives and candidates will impact our kidney community.
Health care is an evergreen issue during each election cycle, because Americans deserve access to affordable, quality treatment no matter where they live – and our leaders are constantly looking at ways to make it easier for their constituents to receive care.
Whether you are a part of the kidney community or not, we at the Northwest Kidney Council would like to make one small request this election season: Before you fill in those little bubbles, pause and reflect on how the initiative or candidate influences the Northwest Kidney Council’s priority issues.
Does your choice expand access to care? By ensuring more Oregonians and Washingtonians can access treatment – whether that’s addressing costs, improving transplant wait times, in-center workforce issues, transportation obstacles, or others – we will improve outcomes across the board. This is central to our mission.
Does your choice increase health equity? Like other chronic diseases, kidney disease has a disproportionate impact on low-income and BIPOC individuals. Incorporating health equity into our health policy decisions will help ensure that no one is left behind as we work to overcome conditions like chronic kidney disease.
Does your choice support education and prevention efforts? For many, the risk of developing kidney disease is not because of any single reason, but due to several physical, environmental, and social factors. Awareness of kidney disease and the risk factors for kidney disease are an important part of mitigating its effects and avoiding end-stage renal disease.
Above all, just remember to vote. Every election is an opportunity for the kidney community to have a direct say in public policy that uniquely impacts the way kidney patients live with and manage this disease. While the Northwest Kidney Council works to educate and advocate all year long, casting your vote this November is an essential tool to make positive change.