On ASN Kidney Health Advocacy Day, Division of Nephrology faculty members Jeff Miner, PhD and Anitha Vijayan, MD, visited capital hill to advocate for The Living Donor Protection Act of 2016. This piece of legislation would remove barriers to to living donation and help increase access to lifesaving transplants. The bill protects donors by prohibiting life, disability and long term care insurers from denying or limiting coverage or charging higher premiums to living donors. It also clarifies that living organ donors can use FMLA time to recover from donation surgery and maintain job security. Finally, the bill directs HHS to educate Americans about living organ donation.
In Missouri alone, there are 472,960 patients with chronic kidney disease and 7,996 patients on dialysis. While 3,652 Missourians have received a kidney transplant, another 1,411 are still waiting for a transplant on the wait-list. Today, Drs. Miner and Vijayan visited Congressman Lacy Clay (D-St. Louis) who has agreed to co-sponsor this important bill. We are proud that the elected leadership in Missouri is taking a leadership role to improve the lives of all Americans suffering from kidney disease.