WASHINGTON, D.C. Kidney disease is a leading cause of death in the U.S., costing more lives than breast cancer and AIDS. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says kidney disease is the 9th leading cause of death in the country.
On Wednesday, President Trump signed a new executive order outlining steps to improve kidney health for thousands of Americans. A ceremony was held where former patients attended and shared their stories.
“I was on dialysis for 7 years,” said Nancy Scott. “I had to receive chemo and radiation.”
Scott, a retired nurse, told the President how her life was changed forever by a failing kidney.
“I’m living proof that dialysis does not mean the end of your life,” she said.
Scott says after years of waiting, she finally received a kidney transplant eight years ago.
“Everyday, 10 of our fellow citizens die waiting,” the President said.
The executive order plans to make kidney transplants more readily available and get more Americans off of wait lists for transplants sooner. The administration also plans to remove obstacles for living donors.
“By granting them reimbursement for extra expenses associated with organ donations such as lost wages and child care,” President Trump said.
For Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar this issue is personal.
“My father had end-stage renal disease,” he said. “I got to see kidney transplantation because through the incredible generosity of a living donor he received a kidney transplant.”
Secretary Azar says the executive order will also encourage early diagnosis and create opportunities for at home dialysis,
Joe Grogan, Assistant to the President and director of the Domestic Policy Council says the US spends over $110 billion every year on kidney care in Medicare.
“That’s more than we spend on NIH, Department of Homeland Security and NASA,” he said.
Grogan says with the huge amount of money spent on treating the disease – the nation doesn’t get the outcomes it deserves,
President Trump says he’s determined to create the best treatment in the world.