On November 7, the Veterans Transplant Coverage Act was passed in the House of Representatives. Under this modified act, the Veterans Affairs Department (VA) could pay for a living donation to a veteran by any live donor, including at facilities outside the VA that are part of the Veterans Choice Program.
Previously, the VA was not required to provide funding to living donors who were not eligible for VA health care. The department will now provide services to the donor before and after the procedure, subject to the availability of funds.
The American Society of Transplantation (AST) applauds the efforts of the bill’s sponsor, Rep. John Carter (R-Texas), as well as the additional 78 Members of Congress that co-sponsored this important legislation. In October, the AST endorsed this legislation through a joint letter of support, along with the American Society of Transplant Surgeons, National Kidney Foundation, and the American Association of Kidney Patients.
The Veterans Transplant Coverage Act expands access to lifesaving transplant procedures for veterans by authorizing the VA to cover the costs of an operation on a living donor to carry out a transplant for an eligible veteran even if the living donor is not otherwise eligible for VA health care. Other federal government health care programs cover live donors’ health.
The AST supported this important legislation and pushed for the final passage of the bill.