California Organ Donor Protection Bill Advances from Assembly Committee on Labor


SACRAMENTO, Calif. (April 3, 2019) — American Kidney Fund (AKF)-supported legislation (AB 1223) to prohibit life, disability and long-term care insurers from discriminating against living organ donors was unanimously passed by the California Assembly Committee on Labor on Wednesday. The landmark legislation, which prevents insurers from denying living organ donors insurance or charging them higher premiums, was approved after moving testimony from California resident and kidney transplant recipient Darius Brown.

“Many Californians struggle with the very real impacts of kidney disease and are in need of transplants,” said AKF director of state advocacy Melanie Kahn. “These important protections will ensure willing donors have the basic assurance that a compassionate, life-saving act won’t cause their insurance premiums to skyrocket.”

Roughly 94,436 Californians live with end-stage renal disease and only 1 in 8 California residents on the waiting list to receive a kidney transplant in 2018 received one. AKF provides financial assistance to many California residents who are on dialysis or patients who have undergone a life-saving kidney transplant.

“The friend who donated a kidney to me gave me the chance at a better life,” said Brown during the committee meeting. “She and other living organ donors are generous people who selflessly choose to help someone in need. AB 1223 would provide common-sense protections for them and hopefully encourage others to also become living donors.”

AB 1223 will now be referred to the Assembly Committee on Insurance.

About the American Kidney Fund

As the nation’s leading independent nonprofit working on behalf of the 30 million Americans with kidney disease, the American Kidney Fund is dedicated to ensuring that every kidney patient has access to health care, and that every person at risk for kidney disease is empowered to prevent it. AKF provides a complete spectrum of programs and services: prevention outreach, top-rated health educational resources, and direct financial assistance enabling the nation’s low-income dialysis and transplant patients to access lifesaving medical care. AKF holds the highest ratings from the nation’s charity watchdog groups, including Charity Navigator, which includes AKF on its “top 10” list of nonprofits with the longest track records of outstanding stewardship of the donated dollar, and GuideStar, which has awarded AKF its Platinum Seal of Transparency.

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