July 18, 2017 – Living Donor Protection Act Coalition Letter

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The Honorable

U.S. House of Representatives

Washington, DC 20515

 

Dear Rep. :

 

More than 60 years since the first successful kidney transplant, hundreds of thousands of lives have been saved through the generosity of donor families and living organ donors and transplantation remains the optimal choice of kidney replacement therapy for most patients. Last year more than 19,000 Americans received a kidney transplant yet more than 97,000 are on a kidney wait list, sometimes for five or more years. Many will die before receiving a kidney (more than 5,800 wait list deaths occurred last year). Removing barriers to living organ donation is a critical component of increasing the number of kidney transplants and two such barriers are addressed in H.R. 1270, the “Living Donor Protection Act.” The undersigned patient and professional organizations respectfully request your co- sponsorship of this legislation.

Introduced by Rep. Nadler and Rep. Herrera Beutler, H.R. 1270 protects living donors by prohibiting discrimination in the pricing or availability of life, disability or long-term care insurance. Despite undergoing a thorough medical examination before donating, living donors often experience increased costs for these insurance coverages even though they are healthier than the U.S. population at large. H.R. 1270 also provides job protection by clarifying that living donation is covered under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). We do not anticipate any federal cost to the legislation and in fact a kidney transplant saves Medicare money compared to a dialysis patient. Medicare spends approximately $24,300 per transplant recipient with a functioning graft after the year of transplant compared to almost $86,000 for a dialysis patient (U.S. Renal Data System 2016 Annual Report).

Please support this legislation to enable more people to benefit from the Gift of Life and to ensure living donors do not suffer economic consequences because of their generosity. For further information or to cosponsor, please contact Melissa Connolly melissa.connolly@mail.house.gov in Rep. Nadler’s office or Jessica Wixon jessica.wixson@mail.house.gov in Rep. Herrera Beutler’s office.

 

Sincerely,

 

American Association of Kidney Patients

American Society of Nephrology

American Society of Pediatric Nephrology

American Society of Transplantation

American Society of Transplant Surgeons

National Kidney Foundation

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