NKF and members of our Kidney Action Committee joined forces with the Kidney Community on Capitol Hill today to ask Congress to cosponsor the Living Donor Act of 2015 and to invest more funds in research for kidney disease.
The stats are startling. Over 26 million individuals have chronic kidney disease (CKD). Medicare spends more than $87 billion caring for individuals with CKD. Yet, federal funds for kidney research total just short of $600 million. It’s more important than ever that Congress act to ensure that funding for kidney disease research is increased. You can help support this effort now by emailing your members of Congress. Together, we can prevent and, one day, cure kidney disease!
We are also advocating for Congress to cosponsor the Living Donor Act to protect the rights of living donors. This Act prohibits insurance companies from denying or limiting life, disability and long term care insurance and from charging higher premiums to living organ donors. The Living Donor Act would also protect living donors’ jobs by ensuring they can take time off from work to donate through the Federal Medical Leave Act (FMLA). More than 101,000 Americans are on the waiting list to receive a kidney transplant. Last year, only 17,106 transplants were performed, 5,536 of which were from living donors. We need to protect living donors and remove barriers for those who want to donate. We hope today’s advocates can build support for this legislation, ensuring it gets introduced and enacted in this Congress.
There are many ways you can help amplify the messages of our advocates on the Hill. Email Congress or tweet about these issues, using the hashtag #kidneyadvocates and tagging your Members of Congress. You can find members twitter handles here. Thank you for your ongoing support—we can’t do this without your help!