Please send letter to Governor Andrew M. Cuomo-A9667a
Margaret O’Reilly, Barbara Goldman and I were able to meet with and thank Senator Hannon who sponsored S6952A, a bill that would provide an additional opportunity for New Yorkers to document their decision to enroll as an organ and tissue donor while applying for health insurance via the New York State health benefit exchange.
As reported on our site here, this bill passed in the Senate and was coming up for a vote in the Assembly at the conclusion of our meetings with assembly members. We’re pleased to report that the Assembly successfully passed their version of the bill (A9667A) within hours of our meetings. As of this writing, the bill was delivered to the governor’s office. The donor designation will be included in the Health Insurance Exchange forms in New York State once this bill is signed by the governor. Here is how you can help:
Our Call to Action:
You can help by writing to Governor Cuomo:
The bill requires applications for health care coverage through the health benefit exchange to include registration space to register in the donate life registry for organ, eye and tissue donations.
Please ask governor Cuomo to sign A.9667A (sponsored by Gunther) and S.6952A (sponsored by Hannon) into law. Send your email to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Aisha Tator has provided a sample letter template.
May 18, 2016
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo
Albany, New York 12224
Re: Support– Assembly Bill A.9667-A (Gunther) and Senate Bill S.6952-A (Hannon)
As you are aware, A.9667-A (Gunther) / S.6952-A (Hannon) has been transmitted to your office for your signature and approval. This bill would require applications for health insurance offered through the state health benefit exchange include the opportunity to enroll in the New York State Donate Life Registry.
New York is in the midst of a public health crisis. Our state has the third highest need for organ donors in the country, yet the second lowest percentage of registered donors. Out of the 10,000 New Yorkers on the national transplant waiting list, over 1,700 have been waiting for life saving and improving transplants for more than five years. Each year, approximately 500 men, women and children in the state die because to the shortage of donors.
In New York State, the primary method for enrollment in the Donate Life Registry is a checkbox on applications at the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). This standard method presents applicants with the opportunity to register their consent as an organ and tissue donor. Over the course of the history of the registry, the DMV has provided this option to the majority of New York State’s new registrants and has only resulted in 25% of potential New Yorkers enrolling on the registry, the second to lowest rate in the nation. This has resulted in a critical shortage of transplantable organs and tissue for New Yorkers in need of a lifesaving transplant.
To address this shortage, New York State needs to offer New Yorkers more opportunities to register their consent to be an organ and tissue donor. The public responds overwhelmingly positive to the question of enrolling as a donor when given the opportunity. Examples of previously successful expansions of portals into the New York State Donate Life Registry include the New York City Municipal Identification card application and the Voter Registration form. In the first year of operation, the New York City Municipal Identification card enrolled nearly 100,000 people. Research has shown that 35-40% of people check “yes” when completing the voter registration form. The New York State of Health Benefit Exchange is another ideal venue for offering individuals the option of documenting their decision to save a life and enroll as an organ and tissue donor, as they are already considering healthcare options and choices. By allowing New Yorkers to enroll in the registry through the New York State of Health, New York State can increase enrollment on the registry and make significant progress toward saving lives through organ and tissue donation and transplantation.
The donation community strongly encourages you to take this bold and significant step to bring about meaningful change which will result in saving the lives of those New Yorkers waiting for a transplant.
Respectfully, Long Island Transplant Recipient International Organization urges approval of A.9667-A (Gunther) and S.6952-A (Hannon).
More info on this bill is here.