John Oliver Takes on the Dodgy Business Practices of a Private Dialysis Provider in the United States

The wonderfully forthright John Oliver used his half-hour allotted to Last Week Tonight to explain the complicated process of kidney dialysis, how President Richard Nixon approved kidney for all, the limited number of private dialysis providers in the United States and the dodgy practices of one such provider with a CEO who dresses like D’Artagnan and likens his healthcare company to running a Taco Bell.

Here’s the thing this country did a truly amazing thing. Richard Nixon did a truly …amazing thing. He said we should take care of people with kidney disease and we did it and we should keep doing it but but we could do it a lot better the care of America’s kidneys is way too important to be treated like fast food experience…

Oliver also brought up the importance of kidney transplants, which offer a better chance at a normal life than dialysis.

‘So the statistics are that one year after being on dialysis your death rate or is 25% by five years it’s 65 percent’…Numbers like that are why if you are at all eligible to get a kidney transplant you absolutely should get one it can double or even triple your survival rate.

The show closed out with a funny faux Taco Bell commercial which made clear that fast food and dialysis are vastly different things. This was Oliver’s way of apologizing “that a middle-aged musketeer dragged [Taco Bell] into this”

Information about kidney health, dialysis and donation can be found at the National Kidney Foundation website

Lori Dorn
Lori Dorn

Lori is a Laughing Squid Contributing Editor based in New York City who has been writing blog posts for over a decade. She also enjoys making jewelry, playing guitar, taking photos and mixing craft cocktails. Lori can be found posting on Threads and sharing photos on Instagram.