Rep. Driscoll Submits Testimony in Support of H.1000
BOSTON, JUNE 7, 2023
Representative Bill Driscoll Jr. submitted the following testimony to the Joint Committee on Financial Services, in support of H.1000, An Act providing living organ donors protections:
I am writing to respectfully request that H. 1000, An Act providing living organ donor protections, receive a favorable report from the Joint Committee on Financial Services.
Across the country, there is a critical shortage of deceased life-saving organs available for transplant. According to the most recent data available from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), there were 1,774 new cases of kidney failure in Massachusetts in 2020. Of those diagnosed, only 66 patients were able to receive a transplant, while the remaining 1,708 patients had to go on dialysis treatment. More broadly, the Commonwealth is home to 12,764 residents diagnosed with kidney failure and of all these patients, the majority depend on dialysis treatment.
This shortage of deceased organs available for transplant impacts many residents across the Commonwealth today and those who will receive diagnosis in the future. To fill this gap in access, we must prioritize and promote living donation. H.1000 seeks to do just that.
H.1000 would add much needed protections to life, disability, and long-term care insurance policies. It would prohibit insurers from declining or limiting coverage of individuals solely due to their status as a living organ donor, from precluding a donor from donating all or part of an organ as a condition to continue to receive coverage, and would prohibit discrimination in the offering, issuance, cancellation, price, or other conditions of coverage based solely on the individual’s status. It would also ensure that more information related to living organ donation is publicly available.
Donating an organ is among the most selfless acts a person can do and when someone decides to step up and help another in need, we must ensure they are not penalized for giving the gift of life. Choosing to be a living donor is much easier when you know you are guaranteed protection from insurance discrimination.
This legislation would put Massachusetts in line with 30 other states that have already passed similar legislation. By removing needless barriers, we will ensure that no living donor will be denied access to insurance solely because of their donor status and will help offer more Commonwealth residents another chance at life.
Thank you for your consideration of this legislation, I hope that the Committee will report H.1000 out favorably. Please do not hesitate to contact me at any time with questions or requests for additional information.