Grover Norquist released a letter today to the U.S. House of Representatives urging members to co-sponsor H.R. 6448, the Organ Donation Clarification Act. Rep. Matt Cartwright (D-PA) and Rep. Jason Lewis (R-MN) are the lead sponsors of the bill. Americans for Tax Reform supports this legislation because it would help patients by reducing the organ shortage and U.S. taxpayers by reducing medical costs.
Please click here for a PDF of the letter or find it below:
October 10, 2018
Dear Member of Congress,
I am writing in support of H.R. 6448, the Organ Donation Clarification Act.
This bill would reduce the organ shortage and save lives. Today, there are too few living organ donors, and the number of organs that can be recovered from deceased individuals is low. In fact, in 2017 alone, about 20 people died each day waiting for an organ, usually a kidney.
One of the reasons for the low number of living organ donors is the law. The law today forbids the selling of organs, but it also forbids donors from receiving reimbursements for their donation expenses.
The Organ Donation Clarification Act would allow for certain costs to be reimbursed. These costs include the costs associated with the removal, transportation, implantation, processing, preservation, quality control, and storage of a human organ; travel, lodging, food during travel and other logistical expenses; lost wages; medical expenses; legal costs; and term life insurance policy.
Donors today have to go through a difficult procedure and recovery. They also have to pay for all of the costs associated with the donation. Allowing for reimbursement of some of their expenses will encourage more people to donate.
This legislation would also save taxpayer money. While patients wait for a kidney transplant, for example, they are usually on dialysis. Dialysis typically requires several treatments per week that last several hours, and patients are left feeling weak. Ninety percent of these patients, therefore, do not have jobs.
The cost of dialysis, however, is very high. In fact, about seven percent of the Medicare budget is spent on the End State Renal Disease Program because dialysis costs Medicare over $87,000 per patient per year. A kidney transplant though saves an average of over $700,000 in medical costs over ten years, and experts believe meeting the demand of kidney transplants would save over $12 billion per year in medical costs.
Because this legislation helps patients and taxpayers, Americans for Tax Reform urges all Members of Congress to co-sponsor the Organ Donation Clarification Act.
Grover G. Norquist