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PreventionThe National Kidney Foundation of Michigan (NKFM) works to shape public policy on behalf of kidney disease patients and those at risk, those with diabetes and high blood pressure, the leading causes of kidney failure. It is our goal to assess and support proposed state and federal policies that will help us to move toward a healthier Michigan and prevent chronic kidney disease when possible.

Advocacy Focus:

The National Kidney Foundation of Michigan's main focus is maintaining the state funding for programs to prevent or manage diabetes high blood pressure and kidney disease. These programs are critical to improving quality of life for those living with kidney disease and those at risk. We work to maintain this funding and educate lawmakers about its importance.

As advocates for the National Kidney Foundation of Michigan, we also keep track of policies related to access to medications, medical treatment for diabetes and kidney patients, policies that promote healthy and safe communities, and policies that increase organ donation in Michigan.

Advocacy Alert Network

We understand that people with kidney disease want to be involved in their care and to be informed of policy or legislative changes that affect this care. The goal of the Advocacy Alert Network is to inform you of policy and advocacy issues so that you can advocate on behalf of yourself and other people with kidney disease as an informed individual.

Members of the Advocacy Alert Network will receive 4-6 e-mails per year. These e-mails will cover topics such as:

  • Public policy proposals and changes that affect kidney disease patients such as those with chronic kidney disease, those on dialysis, or those with a kidney transplant.
  • National and state level issues that would affect the lives of individuals with kidney disease.
  • Opportunities to share your story with policy makers when new policies or changes to policies are proposed that would affect people with kidney disease.
  • Opportunities to share your story with NKFM to help inform our formal responses to policy proposals.

Please fill out the Advocacy Alert Network form to add your email to our list.



The National Kidney Foundation of Michigan's public policy efforts are supported by thousands of volunteer advocates.  The People Like Us Take Action Network is comprised of chronic kidney disease patients, transplant recipients, organ donors, family, friends and health professionals. If you are interested in signing up to be part of our legislative volunteer network – please complete the People Like Us Advocacy Sign-up Form or contact Julia Herzog at 734-222-9800 for more information. As part of this network, you will receive periodic email updates about opportunities to be an advocate on behalf of kidney patients and those at risk.

Resources for Advocacy

Click here to download the 2017-2018 Legislative Handout. This document is a two-part tool to help educate and inform state legislators about obesity, diabetes, and kidney disease in Michigan. It both informs about the challenge of these three epidemics and calls legislators to take action to promote solutions for a healthier Michigan. This document also highlights the successes of state-funded programs for preventing obesity, diabetes and kidney disease.

Michigan Legislature:
Michigan House of Representatives:
Michigan Senate:
Visit  to learn who represents you in Congress (federal government in Washington D.C.) or in the Michigan Legislature (state government in Lansing).

National Kidney Foundation:
NKF public policy
NKF current national issues/legislation

Dear Legislative Volunteers,

The National Kidney Foundation of Michigan (NKFM) needs your help in advocating for some very important issues! Please see below for information and how you can help.

Take Action to help keep our PATH, EF, and MOB classes

Our U.S. Senate is working on a new health care bill to replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA), also called Obamacare.  This bill plans to weaken Medicare financing and cuts preventive services for seniors. PATH programs, Enhance Fitness and Matter of Balance are the prevention programs that will be directly affected by this cut. These programs are extremely powerful for seniors, so the NKFM encourages you to call your senators and tell them to vote NO.

This new bill eliminates the Prevention and Public Health Fund created under the ACA. For older adults, the Fund includes funding for Chronic Disease Self-Management Education (CDSME) and Falls Prevention. But it also has improved access to disease prevention, vaccines, and health screenings for all Americans. The House bill would eliminate the Fund in October 2018, but the Senate proposal would eliminate it one year earlier in October 2017.

For more information, please visit the National Council on Aging website. This provides great resources for seniors to better understand how the cuts would affect them. 

This will directly impact the communities we serve so please call your senator and tell them to vote NO on the health care bill: 1-866-426-2631

Save Lives, Kidneys, and Money!

The Medicare Diabetes Prevention Act, (MDPA, S.962/H.R. 452) will expand access to the National Diabetes Prevention Program (National DPP) among seniors covered by Medicare.  Run by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the National DPP has reduced the risk of Type 2 diabetes by 58%, in participants who are currently affected by prediabetes.  Expansion of this program means more seniors can cut their risk of diabetes in half and avoid the complications of diabetes, including kidney failure and death.  In addition, new research shows that the legislation can reduce federal spending by $1.3 billion over 10 years and savings generated by prevention of diabetes and its complications will continue to grow beyond the initial 10 years. This program has shown it saves Medicare money while saving the lives and kidneys of our nation's seniors.

Visit the NKF Advocacy page where you can easily personalize your message and tell Congress to support the Medicare Diabetes Prevention Act today!

Take Action Now to protect living kidney donors.

On July 30, 2014, The Living Donor Protection Act (H.R. 5263) was introduced by Representative Jerrold Nadler (D- NY) along with Representative Michael Burgess (R-TX).  This bill, if passed, will protect living donors from insurance discrimination, grant leave from work to recover from transplant surgery, and promote education about living donation.  Email your Members of Congress now to ensure these lifesaving heroes are protected.

The bill will protect living organ donors’ access to life, disability and long-term care insurance by prohibiting insurers from denying coverage or from charging higher premiums.  The bill also clarifies that living organ donors may use time granted through the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) to recover from transplant surgery. Furthermore, the bill requires the Secretary of Health and Human Services to educate the general public on the benefits of living organ donation and the rights of living donors. 

H.R. 5263 will help kidney patients by removing barriers to living organ donation and thereby strengthening access to transplantation.  Most notably, it protects those life-saving heroes who choose to be living organ donors.  Living donation helps reduce the amount spent on dialysis and other expensive medical treatments for individuals with kidney failure.  However, the bill can’t pass without your support!  Click here to ask your Representative to cosponsor H.R. 5263.

Healthy Michigan Plan: Medicaid Expansion Update

Enrollment for the Healthy Michigan Plan will begin April 1, 2014. Detailed information on how to enroll can be found at on

The Healthy Michigan Plan provides health care coverage for individuals who: 

  • Are age 19-64 years
  • Have income at or below 133% of the federal poverty level under the Modified Adjusted Gross Income methodology
  • Do not qualify for or are not enrolled in Medicare
  • Do not qualify for or are not enrolled in other Medicaid programs
  • Are not pregnant at the time of application
  • Are residents of the State of Michigan

Eligibility for the Healthy Michigan Plan is determined through the Modified Adjusted Gross Income methodology, coordinated through the Department of Human Services. All criteria for the Modified Adjusted Gross Income eligibility must be met to be eligible for the Healthy Michigan Plan.

Affordable Care Act Update

Beginning October 1st, if you do not already have health insurance, you will be required to select a health insurer through Michigan’s online Marketplace. The Marketplace, also called the health insurance exchange, is online and makes it easy to shop for health insurance. All of the health insurance plans you can pick from will be in one place. You can see the prices and details of each plan to help pick the best one for you.

The insurance companies you can pick from in the Marketplace are private companies that cover the same basic benefits, called essential health benefits. You can not be denied or charged more money for health insurance if you are sick. Also, you cannot be charged more money if you are a woman.

The Marketplace opened on October 1, 2013 and open enrollment for choosing a plan will go from October 1 to March 31, 2014. People that live in Michigan will use the website to visit the Marketplace. To apply for insurance, you will fill out an application to see if you can get lower monthly fees for private insurance plans. This will also tell you if you can get free or low-cost insurance with Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP).

Everyone must get health insurance through the Marketplace if they do not have insurance from their workplace. The plan you pick can start as soon as January 1, 2014.

For more information, call 1-800-318-2596 (TTY 1-855-889-4325), or online at Or visit one of the following helpful links for more information.


Congressional passage of the Farm Bill and President Obama’s signing of the legislation in East Lansing in February were important moments for programs that promote healthy eating and physical activity in Michigan and across the U.S.  Michigan Fitness Foundation CEO Marilyn Lieber and Vice President of Health Programs Marci Scott attended the bill signing to represent the collective support for this important legislation. Lead by the Michigan Fitness Foundation, our communications were consistent and effective in conveying the impact of our work. The persistence and commitment of every partner in working with Senator Stabenow and our Congressional delegation to communicate the importance of our work in Michigan was a tremendously positive experience, and we are grateful for the unified effort that resulted in the passage of the Farm Bill. We will need to continue that same diligent engagement of all stakeholders as we move forward to address the challenges of ongoing annual appropriations and the upcoming renewal of the Healthy Hunger-free Kids Act. Special thanks to the Michigan Fitness Foundation for this update.

CKD Issues & Legislation

The National Kidney Foundation (NKF) helps to shape public policy on behalf of kidney disease patients. We work with Congress and federal agencies, as well as with state governments to further legislation and regulation that improve the care and quality of life of kidney disease patients.

Chronic Kidney Disease - NKF is calling on Congress to expand the Chronic Kidney Disease Control Program at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to support early detection and treatment among high-risk populations.
Dialysis — The Health Care Reform movement in Congress provides an opportunity to expand the choices available to dialysis patients.
Transplantation and Organ Donation — To help close the gap that exists between the need for organs for transplantation and organ availability, NKF advocates for ways to increase the supply of organs for transplantation and to help recipients keep the transplant they have received.
Health Care Reform — Significant changes to health care access, financing, and the delivery of care will occur with the enactment of health reform legislation in March 2010. The new law will impact private insurance as well as Medicare and Medicaid.

Federal Legislation

Extending Medicare Coverage of Immunosuppressive Drugs
Every year, thousands of kidney patients receive a Medicare covered transplant. Medicare benefits, including coverage of immunosuppressive drugs, continue without a time limit for aged or disabled beneficiaries. Kidney recipients who are non-aged or non-disabled retain Medicare eligibility only for 36 months following their transplants. Many ESRD beneficiaries face the challenge of enrolling in private health insurance or otherwise paying for their immunosuppressive medications when coverage ends. Extending Medicare immunosuppressive coverage would improve outcomes and enable more kidney patients to consider transplantation. The Comprehensive Immunosuppressive Drug Coverage for Kidney Transplant Patients Act of 2013 - H.R. 1428, introduced by Representatives Michael Burgess (R-TX) and Ron Kind (D-WI) and S. 323, introduced by Senator Durbin (D-IL) and Senator Cochran (R-MS) - will help kidney transplant recipients obtain the life-saving immunosuppressive medications that are necessary to maintain the viability of their new kidney.
kidney bean

Maintain funding for the Centers for Disease Control and Preventions Chronic Kidney Disease Program

The Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) Program at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) helps reduce the burden of CKD through early detection and treatment programs aimed at high-risk populations. Since 2006, Congress has provided direct funding for a CKD program within CDC's Division of Diabetes Translation at approximately $2 million per year. CDC initiated an agreement with NKF to test a community-based screening program to identify people at high risk (individuals with diabetes, hypertension, or over age 50). More than 900 people in four states (California, Florida, Minnesota, and New York) were screened, and the evaluation of this data is under final review. These results will help assess the effectiveness of early detection and intervention. To enable CDC to continue to identify people at high risk of CKD and track its progression, NKF is working with Members of the Appropriations Committee to request that Congress to maintain funding at $2.2 million for FY 2014.

For more information on national advocacy and legislation, visit the National Kidney Foundation at

Thank you for your continued support of the NKFM and our mission to prevent kidney disease and improve quality of life for those living with it.