On Feb. 25 Congress introduced the Living Donor Protection Act of 2016. The bill is designed to protect the rights of living donors and remove barriers to living organ donation. The bipartisan bill aims to do the following:

  • Protect Donors: The bill prohibits life, disability, and long-term care insurers from denying or limiting coverage or from charging higher premiums to living organ donors
  • Secure Jobs: The legislation clarifies that living organ donors can use FMLA time to recover from donation surgery and maintain their job security
  • Educate Americans: The bill directs HHS to educate Americans about living organ donation

If the Living Donor Act increases donation by 536 donors (10% of the number of living donor transplants in 2014) every year for 10 years, the Medicare program could save between $565 million and $1.2 billion, the American Society of Nephrology said in a release.

Read also: Transplant community looks for ways to increase living kidney donation 

Sixteen kidney health organizations urged Congress to support this legislation during the 2015 Kidney Community Advocacy Day. Their efforts helped garner Senate sponsorship for the bill and propel the vital legislation’s introduction in both houses of Congress.

The following are the kidney health organizations that advanced the Living Donor Act of 2016:

• Alport Syndrome Foundation
• American Association of Kidney Patients
• American Kidney Fund
• American Nephrology Nurses Association
• American Society of Nephrology
• American Society of Pediatric Nephrology
• American Society of Transplant Surgeons
• American Society of Transplantation
• Home Dialyzors United
• IGA Nephropathy Foundation of America
• National Kidney Foundation
• National Renal Administrators Association
• NephCure Kidney International
• Oxalosis and Hyperoxaluria Foundation
• Polycycstic Kidney Disease Foundation
• Society for Transplant Social Workers