SACRAMENTO, Calif. (September 3, 2019) – American Kidney Fund (AKF) President and CEO LaVarne Burton issued the following statement today applauding the California State Senate's unanimous vote to approve AB 1223 (Arambula). The bill guarantees 12 weeks of job-protected leave for living organ donation, and prohibits life, disability and long-term care insurance companies from denying or limiting coverage or charging higher premiums for living organ donors:
"I applaud members of the Senate for doing their part with a 40-0 vote to ensure every Californian has the simple assurance of knowing they won't lose their job because of a generous, lifesaving act. The American Kidney Fund is proud to have worked with the bill's sponsors to lead the way in eliminating barriers that may prevent someone from becoming a living organ donor. We're hopeful Governor Newsom will immediately sign this legislation and send a message to Californians considering becoming living organ donors that they'll be treated equally under the law and protected from discriminatory insurance and workplace practices.
"AKF's mission has always been about protecting patients, and today marks an important step in helping thousands of kidney patients in the nation's largest state. With more than 19,000 Californians on the kidney transplant waiting list, we need to do all we can to increase the supply of kidneys for transplant. Last year, only 2,557 Californians with kidney failure received transplants; of those, 663 received a kidney from a living donor.
"Through our lifesaving financial assistance programs, AKF helps make transplants possible for low-income kidney patients. Our charitable premium assistance grants helped more than 1,000 people nationwide receive transplants in 2018, and every month, our program makes transplants possible for about 100 more people. AB 1223 promises to transform the lives of the patients we serve by removing major barriers to living kidney donation."
About the American Kidney Fund
The American Kidney Fund (AKF) fights kidney disease on all fronts as the nation’s leading kidney nonprofit. AKF works on behalf of the 37 million Americans living with kidney disease, and the millions more at risk, with an unmatched scope of programs that support people wherever they are in their fight against kidney disease—from prevention through transplant. With programs that address early detection, disease management, financial assistance, clinical research, innovation and advocacy, no kidney organization impacts more lives than AKF. One of the nation’s top-rated nonprofits, AKF invests 97 cents of every donated dollar in programs, earning the highest 4-Star rating from Charity Navigator for 20 years in a row as well as the Platinum Seal of Transparency from Candid, formerly GuideStar.