Despite Spending $105 Million by Dialysis Industry, Independent Poll Shows Voters Favor Prop. 8
LOS ANGELES – Voters in California favor Prop. 8, an initiative on the Nov. 6 ballot that would improve patient care at dialysis clinics, according to an independent poll recently conducted by SurveyUSA, despite dialysis corporations spending more than $105 million to flood the airwaves and voters’ mailboxes with ads and literature opposing the measure.
“Voters understand that when out-of-state corporations spend massive amounts of money to stop an initiative, they are not doing it to promote the public good, they are doing it to protect their own interests,” said Tangi Foster, a dialysis patient from Los Angeles. “In this case, the dialysis corporations are trying to protect their billions in profits rather than improve care for patients like me who need this treatment to stay alive.”
Voters favor Prop. 8 by 13 percentage points, 47-34, with 19 percent undecided. The poll of 762 likely voters in California was conducted by SurveyUSA Oct. 12 through Oct. 14. The measure leads 52 percent to 35 percent among those who have already cast their votes.
Campaign finance reports indicate Prop. 8 opponents – led by the nation’s largest dialysis corporations, DaVita and Fresenius – have committed $105 million to defeat the initiative. The figure makes it the most expensive ballot initiative in the United States this year, and the most since pharmaceutical drug companies spent $109 million in 2016 to defeat Prop. 61 in California.
Prop. 8 limits dialysis corporations’ revenues to 15 percent above the amount they spend on patient care and pushes them to invest more in hiring additional staff, buying new equipment, and improving facilities. The California Legislative Analyst’s Office estimates 80,000 Californians with life-threatening kidney failure get treatment in dialysis clinics.
The two largest dialysis corporations in California, DaVita and Fresenius, made a combined $4 billion in profits from their U.S. dialysis operations in 2017, and the profit margin of their clinics is nearly five times higher than an average hospital in California.
People with kidney failure often must undergo dialysis treatment three days a week at clinics to remove their blood, clean it, and put it back in their bodies. Each treatment lasts three to four hours.
To see the more than 145 organizations supporting Prop. 8, visit www.yeson8.com.