Press Release

November 8, 2022

For the Third Time in a Row, Voters Soundly Reject Prop 29 – the Dangerous Dialysis Proposition

Stop Yet Another Dangerous Dialysis Proposition

For immediate release: November 8, 2022

Contact: Kathy Fairbanks (916) 813-1010

Once again California voters reject shameful attack on dialysis patients by one special interest union, SEIU-UHW

Sacramento – Doctors, nurses, dialysis patients and other members of the No on Proposition 29 coalition said they were thankful, but not surprised, that Californians voted for the third time to protect dialysis patients by soundly rejecting Proposition 29. 

With 50.3% of precincts reporting, Prop 29 was overwhelmingly failing, 30.2% yes and 69.8% no.

“For the third time in three elections voters have supported dialysis patients like me. Thank goodness,” said Richard Aviles, dialysis patient from Long Beach. “UHW has no regard for what patients go through, otherwise they wouldn’t repeatedly use patients as political pawns and put our life-saving dialysis care at risk. UHW should listen to health care workers, patients and voters and stop this cycle of dialysis patient and ballot box abuse.”  

Prop 29 is the third time the SEIU-UHW union has bankrolled a ballot proposition that directly endangers the lives of dialysis patients. In 2018, UHW-backed Prop 8 failed by 20 points; in 2020, UHW’s Prop 23 failed by 26 points and 2022’s Prop 29 looks to fail by a similar margin.

“Again and again, voters have sent a clear message that they will stand up for dialysis patients and reject these special interest attacks on dialysis care and dialysis patients in California,” said DeWayne Cox, a dialysis patient from Van Nuys. “Enough is enough. SEIU-UHW needs to stop this continued harassment of dialysis patients.” 

More than 70 groups opposed Prop 29, including the California Medical Association, American Nurses Association\California, California NAACP and many others. Prop 29 was also opposed by every daily newspaper editorial board in California. 

“There is no good reason that dialysis patients should be put in harm’s way year after year by this special interest union,” said Oakland nephrologist Bryan Wong, MD, East Bay Nephrology Medical Group. “Voters made the compassionate choice and voted to protect patients.” 

More than 80,000 Californians with failed kidneys need dialysis treatments three days a week for four hours at a time to stay alive. Missing even a single dialysis treatment increases patients’ risk of death by 30%. 

Care in California dialysis clinics consistently beats the national average. According to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, on average, California outperforms the rest of the nation on quality of patient care and patient satisfaction. 

Prop 29 would have forced every dialysis clinic in California to hire new, unnecessary administrators to be on-site at all times – even though they would not be able provide direct patient care. The independent, non-partisan California Legislative Analyst’s Office said this provision alone “would increase each clinic’s costs by several hundred thousand dollars annually on average.” (page 4)

This unnecessary requirement would have forced dialysis clinics in California to cut back services or shut down, making it harder for patients to access their treatments — putting their lives at risk.  

The Prop 29 initiative shakedown is just a continuation of UHW’s broader union organizing campaign against health care providers. Since 2012, SEIU-UHW has wasted $107.6 million of its members’ dues money on 63 ballot initiatives across the country either directly or through its 501c4 political action committee. In California alone, UHW has filed 33 state and local initiatives at a cost of $72.7 in wasted dues money. While unions have the right to try to unionize workers, it’s not right to abuse the initiative system and use vulnerable patients as political pawns.

Paid for by No on 29: Stop Yet Another Dangerous Dialysis Proposition, sponsored by patients, doctors, nurses and dialysis providers. Committee major funding from DaVita, Fresenius Medical Care, and U.S. Renal Care.

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