President Trump has found an alternative to a citizenship question on the 2020 U.S. census, which would have played out in court because of Democratic opposition. Immigration is an issue that greatly affects Arizona and Pinal County, but another one is the subject of an executive order from Trump regarding treatment and prevention of kidney disease. This one should have no controversy.
Trump’s order on Wednesday is designed to encourage kidney transplants and less-expensive dialysis treatment at home, with a tangible goal of cutting end-stage kidney disease 25% by 2030.
The order encourages development of artificial kidneys while at the same time increasing the number of donations by such means as raising accountability for organ procurement organizations and reimbursing costs to donors. The goal is to have twice as many kidneys, real and artificial, available, because many people now die waiting for a transplant.
Kidney disease is a major problem for many Native Americans. Evidence suggests that consuming a limited diet in the desert for centuries caused them to be less tolerant of foods that Americans often eat these days. Reducing this scourge would be a huge benefit, and public awareness and prevention is a big part of the new initiative. Arizona tribes have such programs, but there is a long way to go on kidney disease.
Doctors and health care officials generally have praised the changes, saying that there has been too much time and expense devoted to procedures instead of prevention, in-home dialysis and alternatives. Costs have accelerated while outcomes have not.
With today’s advancements in medical science and technology, there likely are many areas where awareness, prevention and better treatment methods could be implemented. Hopefully, the government’s new kidney program will have big results and lead to different approaches in other parts of health care. With medical costs these days, those changes are not only desirable but essential.