Orginal Publication Date
MCV/Q, Medical College of Virginia Quarterly
By the mid 1960's it had been clearly demonstrated that the lives of people with total, permanent kidney failure could be indefinitely prolonged with the artificial kidney and that an acceptable proportion of kidney transplants would be successful. The extraordinary cost of this form of therapy, however, prohibited its application to the majority of patients. A strong lobby of health care providers and consumers sought government assistance and in the spring of 1972 Congress passed Public Law 92-603 (Section 2991) which provided for payment of 80% of costs for management of end-stage renal disease (ESRD) for all persons eligible for Social Security benefits, regardless of their ability to pay. This law established what is, in effect, a national health insurance program for people with end-stage renal disease and it may well be a model for future national health insurance programs.
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