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. 7 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, 75 76 Be It Resolved by the Senate of the State of Florida, the House 77 of Representatives Concurring: 78 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.