Florida Senate - 2012                                   SCR 2134
       By Senator Smith
       29-03619A-12                                          20122134__
    1                    Senate Concurrent Resolution                   
    2         A concurrent resolution to the Congress of the United
    3         States, urging Congress to pass the Share Your Spare
    4         Act, H.R. 2755, and the Comprehensive
    5         Immunosuppressive Drug Coverage for Kidney Transplant
    6         Patients Act, H.R. 2969 and S. 1454.
    8         WHEREAS, kidney transplantation is superior to dialysis for
    9  improving patient survival rates and quality of life in patients
   10  who have end-stage renal disease, and immunosuppressive
   11  medications play an integral role in decreasing the rate at
   12  which a transplant recipient’s body rejects the transplanted
   13  organ, and
   14         WHEREAS, without these immunosuppressive medications, the
   15  transplanted organ can be rejected within days or weeks,
   16  threatening a person’s life and dramatically increasing overall
   17  health care spending, and
   18         WHEREAS, in an article published in the February 1, 2012,
   19  issue of the New England Journal of Medicine, physicians John S.
   20  Gill and Marcello Tonelli report that premature transplant
   21  failure is the fifth leading cause of initiation of dialysis in
   22  the United States, with about one in four patients whose
   23  transplants fail dying within 2 years after returning to
   24  dialysis, and
   25         WHEREAS, the article goes on to state that this outcome is
   26  worse than the 2-year mortality rate among patients who have a
   27  functioning transplant from a deceased donor (6 percent) and
   28  still worse than that among age-matched dialysis patients who
   29  have never received a transplant (20 percent), and
   30         WHEREAS, the 2011 annual report from the United States
   31  Renal Data System shows that Medicare spends an average of
   32  $82,285 per person, per year, on hemodialysis patients and
   33  $61,588 per person, per year, on peritoneal dialysis patients,
   34  and covers these costs indefinitely, and
   35         WHEREAS, the American Transplant Foundation reports that
   36  Medicare spends more than $100,000 during the first year after a
   37  person receives an organ transplant and an average of only
   38  $19,100 per year thereafter, including the cost of
   39  immunosuppressive medications, and
   40         WHEREAS, under current Medicare rules, coverage for
   41  immunosuppressive drugs abruptly ceases 36 months after kidney
   42  transplantation for all Medicare patients, except those who are
   43  65 years of age or older or have work-related disabilities, and
   44         WHEREAS, extending immunosuppressive coverage beyond the
   45  current 36-month limit would decrease the risk of allograft
   46  failure attributable to a patient’s inability to afford
   47  immunosuppressive medications following loss of drug coverage
   48  under Medicare, and
   49         WHEREAS, when a renal allograft fails, a patient requires
   50  costly dialysis and may be a candidate for retransplantation,
   51  both of which are covered by Medicare, and
   52         WHEREAS, the Comprehensive Immunosuppressive Drug Coverage
   53  for Kidney Transplant Patients Act, H.R. 2969 and S. 1454, would
   54  finally eliminate this 36-month time limitation for patients
   55  with end-stage renal disease and extend immunosuppressive drug
   56  coverage to all transplant recipients for the life of the
   57  transplanted organ, and
   58         WHEREAS, economic analyses confirm that providing lifetime
   59  funding for immunosuppressive medications would lower overall
   60  costs to Medicare, saving an estimated $200 million annually,
   61  and
   62         WHEREAS, transplantable kidneys are lifesaving gifts made
   63  possible by living donors or by the family of an individual who
   64  is deceased, and are of an immeasurable benefit to society, and
   65         WHEREAS, the Share Your Spare Act, H.R. 2755, would change
   66  current public policy that devalues this gift by amending the
   67  Internal Revenue Code to allow a nonrefundable, one-time,
   68  personal credit for a donation of a life-saving organ from one
   69  living person to another, and
   70         WHEREAS, encouraging volunteers to donate their organs and
   71  ensuring lifetime access to immunosuppressive medications for
   72  all Americans who have kidney transplants would save lives and
   73  reduce the total cost of treating persons who have end-stage
   74  renal disease, NOW, THEREFORE,
   76  Be It Resolved by the Senate of the State of Florida, the House
   77  of Representatives Concurring:
   79         That the Congress is encouraged to pass the Share Your
   80  Spare Act, H.R. 2755, and the Comprehensive Immunosuppressive
   81  Drug Coverage for Kidney Transplant Patients Act, H.R. 2969 and
   82  S. 1454, thus taking a necessary step toward promoting quality
   83  of life for all kidney transplant recipients and providing an
   84  incentive to encourage organ donation in this country.
   85         BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that a copy of this concurrent
   86  resolution be dispatched to the President of the United States
   87  Senate, to the Speaker of the United States House of
   88  Representatives, to each member of the Florida delegation to the
   89  United States Congress, and to the presiding officers of each
   90  house of the several state legislatures.