SACRAMENTO, Calif. – American Kidney Fund President and CEO LaVarne Burton issued the following statement today applauding Governor Gavin Newsom for signing the California living donor protection act, AB 1223, into law. California becomes the ninth state this year to enact these protections after the American Kidney Fund worked with legislators nationwide to introduce the bills in the 2019 legislative sessions. The California law prohibits life, disability and long-term care insurers from discriminating against living organ donors by charging them higher premiums or denying them coverage, and extends job-protected leave by requiring employers to provide up to 60 business days of unpaid leave to organ donors.
"By signing AB 1223 into law, Governor Newsom has ensured that Californians who decide to make the lifesaving gift of organ donation will have the assurance of knowing they won't face discrimination at their place of employment, or from insurers, because of their profoundly generous deed.
"We are grateful that the Governor signed this lifesaving legislation into law and we are optimistic that it can help increase the number of transplants performed each year in California, shortening the wait time for the more than 19,000 Californians on the kidney transplant waiting list.
"Through our lifesaving financial assistance programs, AKF helps make transplants possible for low-income kidney patients in California and across the nation. Our grants helped more than 1,000 people nationwide receive transplants last year, and every month, our program makes transplants possible for about 100 more people.
"The American Kidney Fund is proud to have been an active sponsor of AB 1223, working with Assemblymembers Joaquin Arambula and Cecilia Aguiar-Curry to ensure these vital protections became law. We look forward to working with all stakeholders to continue the transformative assistance AKF provides its patients in California and nationwide."
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.