A Major Kidney Policy Milestone

June 10, 2021, 8:55am EDT

Late last night kidney community advocates reached an amazing milestone, as the Connecticut state legislature passed and sent to the governor to sign into law a bill that will protect living organ donors from discrimination when obtaining insurance.

This will not be the last time that a state Living Donor Protection Act (LDPA) passes this year. On May 19th, NKF advocate Michael Stevenson testified before the Ohio House Insurance Committee, along with witnesses from patient groups and transplant centers from across the state. This is the first step towards Ohio passing its own LDPA. We are also encouraged by recent commitments from lawmakers in Michigan and Massachusetts to introduce similar legislation soon.

Task forces ensure continued kidney focus

While state governments have enacted six versions of this legislation during 2021 that is not all the amazing work that our advocates will achieve this year.

In Colorado, the House of Representatives recently passed legislation to create a kidney disease task force to begin reforming the state’s kidney policy and break down silos in kidney care by bringing together community stakeholders, including state legislators and regulators. In Oregon, similar task force legislation received strong support from legislators after hearing from NKF advocates at hearings in March.

In Texas, a two-year old task force recently introduced NKF-supported legislation to create a resource center to provide kidney patients with information about Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD), free screening access, continuing education opportunities for practitioners, establishing a clinical trial registry network to help patients access clinical trials, and more.

Paid leave incentives encourage donation

NKF of Illinois and its advocates have led the charge to pass legislation that would offer a tax credit to companies that give their employees paid leave for organ donation. Earlier this month, this bill passed the state senate unanimously and is expected to receive a final vote in the House soon. When this bill passes, it will be the 15th state (along with Washington, DC) to pass legislation to promote paid leave for organ donation.

NKF also continues to work with coalition partners to ensure that end stage kidney disease patients are permitted to enroll for Medigap insurance plans in all states and to educate state policymakers about the continuing impact of COVID-19 and vaccine efficacy for kidney patients nationwide.

Please consider joining us as we continue to make impactful change in state capitals throughout 2021 and help us plan how to have an even more impactful 2022 by applying to join our Kidney Advocacy Committee for patients or Kidney Outreach Team for kidney care professionals.

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