Aside from saving lives, organ donors save Medicare millions of dollars each year and help cut healthcare costs by 66 percent by reducing the need for dialysis and other medical interventions. Despite this, the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) currently offers no protection for the rights of organ donors: it lacks information regarding a donor’s eligibility to take unpaid leave for recovery, does not guarantee job security, and does not ensure the acquisition of medical insurance after transplant. In order to rectify this situation, the congressmen are proposing the Living Donor Protection Act.
The Living Donor Protection Act is intended to address the primary faults of the FMLA in regards to living organ donors by granting them rights and encouraging citizens to become donors. Under the act, insurance companies cannot deny or limit health coverage for living organ donors, nor can they charge higher premiums. In addition, it amends the FMLA to allow donors to receive recovery time after donation procedures and directs the Department of Health and Human Services to update their materials to reflect the changes in order to draw in new organ donors.
Several organizations in addition to the ASTS have given their support to the bill, including the National Kidney Foundation, the American Society of Transplantation, and the Organization for Transplant Professionals.