New York State Legislature Passes Living Donor Support Act




"The time is now to eliminate financial barriers to life-saving living kidney donation. No donor should have to choose between saving a life or paying for rent. Let’s have New York State lead the way for the rest of the country and treat donors as the humanitarian and public servants they are by passing the Living Donor Support Act."

Sharyn Kreitzer, Founder/Executive Director – Donor Outreach for Veterans, Corp.


 


After receiving unanimous support from the New York State Senate, the New York State Assembly passed the Living Donor Support Act yesterday.

The bill would reimburse kidney donors for non-medical costs associated with surgery such as wage reimbursement — the median costs are as high as $4,000. If it increases living donations in New York by 20% (which is what a similar policy accomplished in New Zealand), that would mean over 100 additional donations per year.


“New York must do more to encourage and support life-saving living organ donation,” said Carl Heastie, Speaker of the New York State Assembly. “We rank abysmally low compared to the rest of the country, and I am proud to see this legislation passed by the Legislature to help ensure that we are doing everything in our power to save lives of individuals on transplant waiting lists.”


The bill received a wide range of support from advocacy groups like Save Lives Now New York, Waitlist Zero, the National Kidney Foundation, Live On NY, and the National Kidney Donation Organization, and its passage in the Assembly received widespread praise. “The New York State Senate and Assembly have done what New Yorkers are known to do by unanimously passing this bill. They were willing to step up and do their part to save the lives of New Yorkers,” said Michael Lollo, President of the National Kidney Donation Organization and a former NYPD detective. “I am hopeful that Governor Hochul will do the same by signing this bill into law.”


“I’m so proud that the Living Donor Support Act passed unanimously through both the Senate and the Assembly. We have an opportunity to thank living donors for their life-saving tribute by covering the costs they incur during the process,” said Senator Gustavo Rivera, Senate Health Committee Chair and Living Donor Support Act sponsor. “I’m sure Governor Hochul shares this gratitude to New York’s living donors and will sign this bill into law.”


“New York faces an organ shortage for transplants. We should support and protect those who choose to be living donor by making sure they are covered for health care costs and lost wages,” said Assembly member Richard Gottfried, Assembly Health Committee Chair and Living Donor Support Act sponsor. “I’m delighted this life-saving bill has passed both houses. I thank the organ donation advocates, Speaker Heastie, and Senate sponsor Gustavo Rivera for their efforts moving this forward, and urge Governor Hochul to sign the bill into law.”


“This moment has been five years in the making. I commend the New York legislature for taking a major step toward making New York the first state in the country to properly support living organ donors,” said Josh Morrison, kidney donor and founder of Waitlist Zero.


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