Everyone seemed to think the bill was oh-so-close to passing this session. And, personally, I was honored–and very excited–to be one of three local advocates invited to the National Kidney Foundation’s planned legislative breakfast with a few supportive state representatives. NKF wanted us to share our personal views of why the state needs to protect living donors. The breakfast had already been scheduled and rescheduled months in advance.
This state bill had been in the works for a few years (admittedly not nearly as long as the federal version, which dates back to 2014). In an effort to remove disincentives to donation, the legislation was designed to ensure that donors could not be refused or overcharged for insurance, among other protections. Tired of waiting for a federal Living Donor Protection Act, more and more states (now 28) have passed their own LDPAs.
The NC bill had strong sponsors in the House and Senate, and we were looking for more cosponsors. But after several delays, last month we got word that the bill would not be taken up during this short legislative session. Better luck next year.
Just before the pandemic, in January 2020 I went to our state capital as part of another small NKF delegation to tell my story to legislators as we searched for sponsors. Since then the bill has gradually made its way through the Health and Finance committees, and, finally, Insurance. When I was asked to submit testimony to the Finance Committee, I related my experience as a living donor, describing what a “best-case scenario” looks like.
We thought for sure this time the bill would succeed. Alas, by not being considered during this session, the bill will go back to square one when it’s reintroduced next year. Again, we’ll be looking for more cosponsors.
Whatever else you can say about sausage making–it sure is slow. In an upcoming post, I’ll provide current information on state laws and benefits for living donors.
For related posts and information on my new book, The Insider’s Guide to Living Kidney Donation, be sure to explore the rest of my website.