WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) – member of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies – today applauded President Donald Trump’s action to increase organ donations and advance kidney health, while drawing attention to work still left to be done as it pertains to the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network’s (OPTN) liver allocation policy changes.
“Today’s executive order is a positive step forward that will ultimately save lives by introducing accountability for deficient Organ Procurement Organizations that does not currently exist, as these organizations self-report data and are rarely punished for poor performance,” said Sen. Moran. “While I am pleased to see the president taking this action, we still must address OPTN’s and the United Network for Organ Sharing’s reckless changes to the national liver distribution policy that could adversely impact many Americans seeking liver transplants. These organizations need greater accountability due to their misguided actions that could carry the heavy cost of losing human lives if remedial action isn’t swiftly taken.”
“These recent changes will punish patients waiting for transplants in Midwestern states with higher rates of organ donation – like Kansas – and reward our lowest performing ones, unfortunately moving in the opposite direction of the President’s executive order today,” continued Sen. Moran. “I will work to protect our hospitals and patients from dangerous decisions made at the federal level in our nation’s organ allocation policy and will continue to work with my colleagues and the administration on this issue.”
Items to Note:
- In April, Sen. Moran questioned Secretary Azar on the OPTN’s policy in an Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services hearing.
- Sen. Moran and Senator Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) previously sent two letters to Secretary Azar, in December 2018 and January 2019, raising concerns over the policy change.
- In both letters, the senators noted that OPTN’s decision ignores the recommendations of the Liver and Intestine Transplantation Committee, whose members include some of the nation’s leading transplant experts.
- Sens. Moran and Blunt also wrote an op-ed in the Kansas City Star underscoring the harmful impact the policy will have for patients in Missouri and Kansas.
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