SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- For the third time in three straight elections, California voters rejected a ballot measure that would have mandated major changes to the operations of dialysis clinics that provide life-saving care to 80,000 people with kidney failure.
Proposition 29 failed after nearly 70% of Californians voted "no" in returns late Tuesday.
The measure would have required a doctor, nurse practitioner or physicians' assistant to be present during treatment at the state's 600 outpatient dialysis facilities.
This is a breaking news topper. Original story follows below.
For a third straight election, California voters are being asked to decide on a measure to regulate dialysis clinics across the state. Ads for and against Proposition 29 have been running non-stop for the last several months.
The previous two efforts to regulate dialysis clinics failed, so what is different this time around?
Here's what you need to know about the measure:
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What is Prop 29?
The measure would amend the state health code to require dialysis clinics to have a licensed medical professional on-site during treatment or in some cases available virtually during treatments.
It would also establish other state requirements on clinics including requiring them to disclose all physicians that have clinic ownership interests of 5% or more to their patients and requiring clinics to report infection data to the state.
It would also prohibit clinics from refusing to treat patients based on the source of payment.
So what's different from the previous two measures?
Not a lot. It's almost identical to the 2020 measure that failed, but supporters say they did make some changes after receiving feedback from voters in 2020.
Supporters claim that the industry makes billions of dollars each year, but does not reinvest those profits into patient care.
Opponents, however, say this is just another effort by labor organizers to get the industry to unionize its workers. The labor union SEIU is a major supporter of this measure and supported the previous two measures.
Who is supporting the prop?
Prop 29 is supported by the California Democratic Party and SEIU United Healthcare Workers West.
Who is against the prop?
State and national dialysis organizations, some local medical groups, and major dialysis corporations including DaVita and Fresenius.
What about the Democrat and Republican parties?
The California Democratic Party is in favor of the measure. The California Republican Party is against the measure.
What happens if the proposition passes?
Dialysis clinics would face additional regulations. Opponents claim that it may force some clinics to close. Note: supporters of the measure have not said whether or not they will put a fourth measure on the 2024 ballot if this measure fails.
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