Yesterday President Trump singed an executive order focused on improving kidney care in the United States. Kidney disease is the ninth leading cause of death in the U.S.
The executive order aims to do three things. The first is to provide an incentive structure through Medicare for preventing and detecting kidney disease early. According to the CDC’s estimates, 96 percent of Americans with kidney damage or mildly reduced kidney function do not know they have a problem. The executive order also provides a plan to bring down costs for dialysis by covering at-home care. Lastly, the new order encourages living kidney donations by compensating donors for undergoing the surgery. The administration’s goal is to reduce end-stage renal disease by a quarter within about a decade.
As the below chart illustrates, the southeast has high rates of kidney deaths. Kidney disease deaths are linked to obesity and high blood pressure. The South also faces high rates of obesity and high blood pressure as well. Many states with high rates of kidney disease are also some of the states with the lowest median income
, drawing a link between socioeconomic status and health.
The executive order President Trump signed to improve kidney care will be implemented through the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation, which was created through the Affordable Care Act. While pursuing this avenue, the Trump administration is also trying to “repeal and replace” the Affordable Care Act in court. A top deputy in the Department of Health and Human Services reported that the administration had plans to keep some parts of the law, despite talks of full repeal.