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A man gets dialysis in California. Photo: Irfan Khan/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

This week is make or break for a California bill that has the potential to sap hundreds of millions of dollars in profits from dialysis providers in the state.

What's happening now: California's Legislature has until this Friday to pass SB 1156, a union-backed bill that would cap commercial dialysis payments at lower Medicare rates and force charities to disclose donors of third-party payments. If it passes, Gov. Jerry Brown has until the end of September to sign it into law.

Why it matters: This essentially would become single-payer for dialysis services in California. But even if this bill falls short, it could pop up again in other states where the Service Employees International Union wants to take on big dialysis providers like DaVita and Fresenius.

  • "This effort will remain a considerable overhang for the outpatient dialysis industry for the foreseeable future," says Andrea Harris, a health care analyst at Height Capital Markets.
  • She thinks DaVita could lose $95 million in profit in California if the bill passes.

Threat level: It seems like the bill's passage is a coin flip right now. Dialysis chains, doctors and the American Kidney Fund have spent millions of dollars lobbying against it, and are relying on their collectively large war chest to kill the effort.

The big picture: The federal government also still needs to re-release rules on charitable premium assistance that were proposed by the Obama administration but were legally thwarted by the industry.

Go deeper

Updated 1 hour ago - World

Pentagon: 8,500 troops on high alert for possible deployment to eastern Europe

Photo: Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin has placed 8,500 U.S. troops on "heightened preparedness to deploy" to eastern Europe in case NATO activates its rapid-response force over tensions with Russia, the Pentagon announced Monday.

Why it matters: No decisions have been made to deploy U.S. forces, but the heightened alert level will allow the military to rapidly shore up NATO's eastern flank in the event that Russia invades Ukraine. The Pentagon warned that Russia has shown "no signs of de-escalating," and continues to amass troops on Ukraine's borders.

Alabama's new congressional map rejected by federal judges

The Alabama State Capitol in Montgomery. Photo: Taylor Hill/Getty Images

Federal judges on Monday night blocked Alabama's newly drawn congressional map and ordered the Republican-led State Legislature to create a new one that includes two districts, rather than the planned one.

Why it matters: "Black voters have less opportunity than other Alabamians to elect candidates of their choice to Congress," the panel of three judges wrote in their ruling.

Australian Open organizers reverse "Where is Peng Shuai?" t-shirt ban

Chinese tennis player Peng Shuai during the 2020 Australian Open in Melbourne. Photo: Bai Xue/Xinhua via Getty Images

Australian Open organizers on Tuesday reversed a ban on t-shirts supporting Chinese tennis player Peng Shuai following widespread criticism.

Why it matters: Tennis Australia's announcement came less than 24 hours after the governing body defended the decision to ask fans last Friday to remove "Where is Peng Shuai?" t-shirts, citing ticket policy prohibiting political clothing, per the BBC.