The media has ignored President Donald Trump’s latest executive order that will likely save the lives of up to 43,000 people who are waiting for organ transplants.
One of the worst parts of the process for patients awaiting life-saving kidney transplants is the donor list that sometimes forces them to wait years before being awarded a suitable kidney. Many of these patients die waiting because they don’t have two and three years of life left to be spent waiting on a transplant list.
But President Trump has quietly signed a new executive order that will begin to help solve some of these issues, according to Johns Hopkins University economist Steve Hanke.
In a recent Forbes article, Hanke reported on the good news that Trump is making changes that may increase available kidneys by as much as 50 percent.
Hanke writes that the problem is that many patients suffer from organ shortages that are “substantially, and probably fully, the fault of inhumane government regulations.”
In his piece, Henke asks, “How many of you noticed the most life-changing story of the week?” And he notes that Trump made a “stunning speech announcing regulatory changes that will save thousands of American lives each year.”
As the President noted, roughly 100,000 Americans with kidney disease are awaiting a transplant from a donor. About 20,000 Americans are awaiting transplants of other organs.
These estimates are, if anything, on the low side. Indeed, there are many people who never bother with the transplant waiting list because, under the current system, their prospects of receiving a transplant are so low. Last year, there were about 21,000 kidney transplants in the United States, but the transplant waiting list has remained stuck in the 90,000 to 100,000 person range for some years. If you are old, or even a young person in frail health, you won’t receive a kidney. Donor kidneys are reserved for more “deserving” recipients. Shockingly, it’s estimated that 43,000 Americans die prematurely each year because they don’t receive a life-saving kidney transplant. For context, this exceeds the number of people who die in car accidents each year.
But Trump is now changing some of the rules for those waiting for organs.
As Monica Showalter wrote:
The regulations that President Trump voted to get rid of, which Hanke says will help the most, are those that prohibited any possible payment for lost wages or child care costs, of those who donate organs to others. That’s one thing that has made it so hard for the supply of kidneys and other organs to reach the people who need them. For a living donor, donating the kidney itself is not the problem — anyone who does that will live a perfectly normal life afterward while at the same time giving life itself to a second human being. Hanke notes that the actual supply is already there.
But it’s a tough — and for some, impossible — thing to do when the law forbids even insurance companies from covering your legitimate expenses, which pile up fast and go high. And there aren’t any tax breaks, either.
For his part, Henke praises Trump for the move.
Hanke pointed out that since the 1980s patients have been dying during these long wait times before getting their needed transplant. He also noted that any president could have fixed this. But it took Trump to actually step up and do it.
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