Blog posts

Is donating a kidney a preexisting condition?

By Dr. Mona Mangat

I just saw this:

My patient has been on dialysis waiting for a kidney transplant for many years.  He was generously approached by a friend who expressed a willingness to donate her kidney.  The transplant center provided her with an informational brochure.  One of the potential "complications" of donation is the inability to get insurance subsequent to donating her kidney.  The potential donor was very concerned about the ramifications to her of this policy.

My patient has been an outspoken critic of the health care bill.  When he told me this development in his quest for a successful kidney transplant and hopefully a return to a more normal lifestyle for him and his wife and young children, I realized my opportunity.  "You know Jim the new health care law will eliminate this possibility by not allowing insurance carriers to use these pre existing conditions to affect insurability, and your transplant center will tell your potential donor this."  He smiled and thoughtfully commented, "Maybe I need to reconsider my opinion of this bill."

-- Dr. Donald Steinmuller, nephrologist in Illinois

The truth? With health reform, "pre-existing condition" will enter the history books in 2014.  But opponents of health reform are spending millions to spread lies about health reform.  They are hard at work trying to make sure patients like Jim never hear the truth.  That's why your patients, family, and community need you now.

Nearly 150 hours have been pledged by doctors and medical students so far.  Help us double our commitment to 300 hours.  Pledge 15 minutes today to Speak the Truth!

We have lots of resources to help you speak the truth.  Join us and spread the truth like:

  • Patients with pre-existing conditions can buy a subsidized high-risk insurance plan right now, until pre-existing condition discrimination is banned completely in 2014.
  • Primary care is getting paid 10% more, and investments are going into boosting primary care training and helping with student loans.
  • Health reform invests $350 million to stop criminals from defrauding Medicare, patients, providers, and taxpayers.
  • Small businesses (including physician private practices) are getting a 35% tax credit to provide employees with health insurance.
  • Health reform will actually decrease the federal deficit.
Will you pledge 15 minutes or more to Speak the Truth about reform?

When we look at the actual law, doctors see a major first step in our quest for a health care system that provides access to quality health care for all Americans.  We want to keep improving the system, not go backwards.  Health reform is already improving our patient’s lives.  Let's keep going!


Mona Mangat, MD

and the Doctors for America Team

P.S. Have you signed up yet for our two opportunities to hear from experts on health reforms impact on primary care?  Join us for a call with Dr. Thomas Bodenheimer on October 20th at 7pm ET and with Dr. Barbara Starfield on October 21st at 7pm ET.

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