Presidential Proclamation -- National Donate Life Month, 2016
"My Administration has striven to support donors and recipients and to expand the availability of organs for transplant. In 2010, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), building on efforts within the transplant community, launched a nationwide kidney exchange program to bring together pairs of kidney donors and recipients in an effort to increase the quality and quantity of kidney transplants. HHS has also made more financial support available to low-income living donors to help cover expenses like travel and lodging costs that are often incurred throughout the donation process. The Affordable Care Act offers greater security to living donors by prohibiting insurers from denying health coverage to someone with a preexisting condition –-donating an organ may have previously been considered a preexisting condition and prevented individuals from obtaining the care they deserved after selflessly giving an organ to someone in need.
"NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim April 2016 as National Donate Life Month. I call upon health care professionals, volunteers, educators, government agencies, faith-based and community groups, and private organizations to join forces to boost the number of organ, eye, and tissue donors throughout our Nation. "
And here's the White House blog:
Saving Lives and Improving Health Care through Innovation in Organ Donations and Transplants
APRIL 1, 2016 AT 7:10 PM ET BY JEFFREY ZIENTS, THOMAS KALIL, DR. MARY WAKEFIELD
"Summary: The White House, in collaboration with HHS, announces a Summit to highlight initiatives to shorten the time to receive life-saving organs.
"But there is still more we can do. The vast majority of the organ waiting list is made up of people waiting for a kidney transplant. These Americans are hoping for a life-saving transplant that can add more years to their lives. In addition to the tremendous human cost, the kidney waiting list carries a huge cost to the public purse; Medicare pays more than $34 billion per year – more than the entire budget of the National Institutes of Health – to care for patients with end-stage kidney failure.
A recent transformative innovation called kidney paired donation (KPD), which pools living donors and recipients to increase the likelihood of matches, can improve this. In order to increase the number of potential transplants, the Department of Health and Human Services launched a nationwide KPD program in 2010 to build on this practice.