DaVita Inc., the nation’s leading dialysis and kidney and renal disease treatment company, is running political television commercials in Orlando and elsewhere praising U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson for his backing of a bill aimed at better coordination of patient care.

The commercial, running this week during MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” show, thanks Nelson for supporting The PATIENTS Act, Senate Bill 2065, which the Florida Democrat introduced in November, along with Republican U.S. Sens. Todd Young of Indiana and Dean Heller of Nevada, and Democratic U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet of Colorado.

The bill would address patients suffering from end-stage renal disease, providing for comprehensive coordination of their care, to allow them to better manage their time and spend more time at home.

“This December, Congress can give hundreds of thousands of chronically-ill patients across America access to better-quality health care. Here in Florida, Sen. Bill Nelson stands with them,” the commercial begins.

“Thank you, Sen. Bill Nelson,” it concludes.

In a written statement, DaVita spokeswoman Alicia Patterson explained that “This ‘thank you’ campaign is aimed at elevating the visibility the impact the legislation would have on patients in hopes Congress takes action in the next two weeks. We’re running similar ads in a handful of Congressional districts across the country thanking those members who are champions of integrated care for dialysis patients.”

Nelson, of Orlando, is seeking-re-election next year to a fourth term. While Gov. Rick Scott has not declared his intentions or filed for the race, it’s widely assumed that he will seek the Republican nomination to take on Nelson.

In November, when the bill was introduced, Nelson stated in a press release, “The health problems associated with kidney disease often force Medicare patients to juggle multiple appointments and doctors. This bill will help improve these patients’ day-to-day lives by creating a one-stop shop where they can get the coordinated care they need.”


About The Author

Scott Powers is an Orlando-based political journalist with 30+ years’ experience, mostly at newspapers such as the Orlando Sentinel and the Columbus Dispatch. He covers local, state and federal politics and space news across much of Central Florida. His career earned numerous journalism awards for stories ranging from the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster to presidential elections to misplaced nuclear waste. He and his wife Connie have three grown children. Besides them, he’s into mystery and suspense books and movies, rock, blues, basketball, baseball, writing unpublished novels, and being amused. Email him at scott@floridapolitics.com.

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