Welcome to our What's happening in the states blog series, where we provide monthly legislative updates on what the American Kidney Fund (AKF) is working on across the country to improve the lives of those living with kidney disease and protect living organ donors.
AKF Ambassadors and others like you have been busy using our new mobile advocacy program to send emails and tweets to state lawmakers about living donor protection legislation moving through the Massachusetts, Michigan, Ohio and North Carolina state legislatures. If you live in any of those states, click your state's link to join us and take action!
These bills prohibit life, disability and long-term care insurers from discriminating against living organ donors by charging them higher premiums or refusing to insure them altogether. Removing financial burdens like these, and providing incentives for living donors, can lead to an increase in organ donations, which will ultimately save more lives . That is why AKF and our Ambassadors are so passionate about advocating for the creation of these policies in as many states as possible.
Massachusetts' living donor bill, H.4146, was recently heard in the Joint Committee on Financial Services. AKF staff and an AKF Ambassador testified on behalf of this bill in front of committee chairs and members. We are now waiting for the bill to be brought up for a vote. Before that happens, it is important for all Massachusetts residents to reach out to their state representatives and senators to encourage them to vote in favor of the bill.
How can you help?
As we prepare for states' 2022 legislative sessions, living donor bills will be under consideration in Indiana, Georgia, Virginia, Vermont and West Virginia. We are looking for Ambassadors who live in those states to join us in advocating for these bills. If you are interested, please join our Advocacy Network today.
All bills have a better chance of moving through the legislative process with your help! If you live in Massachusetts, Michigan, Ohio or North Carolina and would like to contact your state lawmakers about the living donor protection bills, or help with written or live testimony during bill hearings, please reach out to us:
- Melanie Lendnal, AKF's senior director of state policy & advocacy – firstname.lastname@example.org
- Lindsay Gill, AKF's associate director of state policy & advocacy – email@example.com
If you don't live in one of those four states, you can still get involved! Follow us on Twitter @akf_advocacy, where we provide real-time updates on state activity and other important advocacy information. And of course, don't forget to join us right from your cell phone by texting "KIDNEY" to 52886 or clicking here, so we can text you as soon as there is an opportunity to take action on legislation in your state. We look forward to working with you!