Senate Approves Compensation Bill for Organ Donors
The Senate on Thursday approved by voice vote a bill (HR 3926) that seeks to increase living organ donations by reimbursing donors for travel and other nonmedical expenses, the AP/Modesto Bee reports (AP/Modesto Bee, 3/25). The House last week approved the legislation, which would allow HHS beginning Oct. 1 to allocate $5 million a year to reimburse qualified donors. The bill would provide another $15 million for grants to states, public awareness campaigns and studies on improving recovery and donation rates. The bill also would fund new programs to coordinate organ donations at hospitals and procurement agencies (California Healthline, 3/25). HHS Secretary Tommy Thompson said, "This bill represents a major step forward in our nation's efforts to help people in need to life-saving organ transplants." Thompson added the legislation would make a "world of difference" for those on organ donation waiting lists, as well as their families (HHS release, 3/26). Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Tenn.) said the legislation "can literally save hundreds and indeed thousands of lives." The bill now goes to President Bush (AP/Modesto Bee, 3/25).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.