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house Bill H.R. 1133

Should the VA be Allowed to Provide Organ Transplants For Vets When the Living Donor is a Non-Veteran?

Argument in favor

Current law foolishly prohibits veterans from receiving an organ transplant from a non-veteran within the VA system. This bill puts an end to that, enabling veterans to get the organ transplants they need at the facility of their choice.

IllWill's Opinion
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11/06/2017
Why does this even need to be debated and why was this restriction in place anyway? Of course, veterans at the VA should be able to get an organ transplant from a non-veteran. The current law makes no sense.
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Donald's Opinion
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11/06/2017
I can’t believe such a law exists. We must provide any and all medical treatments for those who put their own lives on the line for our freedoms.
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OlderNWiser's Opinion
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11/06/2017
It seems we fell down Alice’s rabbit hole as every day gets curiouser and curiouser. Let history show this left coast progressive agreed with the Texas Republican on this bill. When did the lives of those who are not wealthy get so meaningless to lawmakers? Uh, yes, vets should have access to non-vet organs.
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Argument opposed

The VA healthcare system should only be available to veterans, and if a vet needs an organ transplant from a non-veteran they should have to do it without the VA’s support.

Jacqueline's Opinion
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11/07/2017
I am actually sad to say no to this, as I feel it would allow further privatization of the VA. I don’t trust any proposals such as this from the current admin. And I am a Veteran.
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Gary's Opinion
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11/07/2017
"At the facility of their choice," means they're trying to privatize the VA. Non-veteran donors? Awesone. Go for it. Privatize the VA? No thank you.
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John's Opinion
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11/07/2017
Sounds like privatization of the VA again.
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bill Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The senate has not voted
      senate Committees
      Committee on Veterans' Affairs
  • The house Passed November 7th, 2017
    Passed by Voice Vote
      house Committees
      Health
      Committee on Veterans' Affairs
    IntroducedFebruary 16th, 2017

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What is House Bill H.R. 1133?

This bill would authorize the Dept. of Veterans Affairs (VA) to provide organ transplants for veterans, even if the living donor is a non-veteran, at the VA or non-VA facility of their choice. The VA would provide the donor with any care or services that may be required before and after conducting such a procedure. Current law prohibits veterans from receiving an organ donation from a non-veteran under the VA system.

Impact

Veterans in need of an organ transplant; non-veteran organ donors; VA and non-VA healthcare facilities; and the VA.

Cost of House Bill H.R. 1133

A CBO cost estimate is unavailable.

More Information

In-DepthSponsoring Rep. John Carter (R-TX) introduced this bill to allow the VA to provide transplants for veterans, even if the living donor is a non-veteran, at the facility of their choice:

“The Veterans Transplant Coverage Act was inspired by the Nelson family from my district. Charles Nelson served his country nobly and is now 100% disabled. When Charles needed a kidney transplant, his son, Austin, was a match. When it came time for the operation, the VA system denied him coverage. The VA’s decision forced the Nelson’s to solicit donations to complete the transplant surgery to save Charles’ life. After hearing that the Nelson’s had to fundraise and drain their savings because of the VA’s policy, I knew that I had to bring this fight to Washington. Today, the Nelson family and I joined together to bring their story to Congress, so DC can understand that the VA’s policies have a real impact on our veterans and their families. Unfortunately, the Nelson’s story is one of far too many.   To the veterans that have come before and been denied life-saving coverage, you deserve better.”

This legislation passed the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee on a voice vote and has the bipartisan support of 78 cosponsors, including 67 Republicans and 11 Democrats.


Media:

Summary by Eric Revell

(Photo Credit: sturti / iStock)

AKA

Veterans Transplant Coverage Act of 2017

Official Title

To amend the Veterans Access, Choice, and Accountability Act of 2014 to authorize the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to provide for an operation on a live donor for purposes of conducting a transplant procedure for a veteran, and for other purposes.

    Why does this even need to be debated and why was this restriction in place anyway? Of course, veterans at the VA should be able to get an organ transplant from a non-veteran. The current law makes no sense.
    Like (234)
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    Share
    I am actually sad to say no to this, as I feel it would allow further privatization of the VA. I don’t trust any proposals such as this from the current admin. And I am a Veteran.
    Like (37)
    Follow
    Share
    I can’t believe such a law exists. We must provide any and all medical treatments for those who put their own lives on the line for our freedoms.
    Like (77)
    Follow
    Share
    It seems we fell down Alice’s rabbit hole as every day gets curiouser and curiouser. Let history show this left coast progressive agreed with the Texas Republican on this bill. When did the lives of those who are not wealthy get so meaningless to lawmakers? Uh, yes, vets should have access to non-vet organs.
    Like (71)
    Follow
    Share
    Why is this even a bill? Veterans are also citizens of the United States. The VA was established to provide veterans with more acute care conveniently for veterans, paid for by citizens tax dollars. If a non-veteran wishes to donate to a veteran, there should be no reason that the VA cannot perform the surgeries. The ultimate goal and benefactor is the Veteran heroes.
    Like (48)
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    Yes! But this is a weird question. Reworded: Should a Vet be allowed to receive an organ from a non-Vet? Or also worded: Should a non-Vet be allowed to donate to a Vet? Is this question really about cost? Should a donor pay their way to donate a organ? Hopefully, this bill will be clarified before the vote. Either way, my wife has accused me of being wrong. Can you believe that?
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    Absolutely! Veterans should not have to wait for transplants.
    Like (25)
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    "At the facility of their choice," means they're trying to privatize the VA. Non-veteran donors? Awesone. Go for it. Privatize the VA? No thank you.
    Like (15)
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    As a Veteran I say absolutely yes! I'm in the VA healthcare system and was never aware of that policy! I didn't even know we were able to get transplants. Just never looked into it. They use Vet's for Ginea Pigs at times that I know! I knew a Nuclear Vet that was drafted in the 50s and was was exposed to radiation from nuclear tests in the Nevada Dessert! 17 blasts the guy was through! Then in Vietnam was exposed to Agent Orange! Actually he was the last sieving Nuclear Vet and the VA could not while he was still living until he died in 2012! He told me he had to go once a month to Milwaukee VA, one of the best in the country, and spend two days in hospital while they would make him swallow this pill and drink stuff and look at all his innards! Draw blood, take samples of everything. Skin from around his outer body. Very small samples of his intestines. Cameras in his stomach! He managed to retire from the Army with 22 years in 1973! 51 to 73. Probably one of the most decent and meek guys you would have ever met! And YES! We drank! He drank only wine as that's all they would allow him to! I just wanted to share this story to everybody on Countable! As for me! Just some crushed bones from service! I get 30%. I was talking to a young man at the VA not long ago who is an amputee, one leg above the knee that was in Afghanistan and that's what Uncle Sam gives him too! 30%. Vet's do not get fully paid healthcare unless they are 50% service connected! It has to be in their service medical records in order for them to claim it! And then we don't get much! There are lazy people on SSI disability that get a whole lot more just because they don't want to work and know how to play that system! Go figure!
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    This is such a clear case of the “begging the question” rhetoric that I wonder what is hidden in this proposed, paltry, piece of legislation. Could it be a birthday present? It is Congressman’s Carter’s birthday today. Naa... that cannot be it. What would a wealthy, white, Republican congressman invested in ship building need, or care for that matter, about VA organ donation? If he needs an organ, he could just buy one on the black market and have it smuggled thru customs. Truth is, I cannot say as to what the true aim of the Victor Act is. And while I don’t agree with Congressman’s Carter hard right voting pattern, neither Carter’s background, nor this bill give any preliminary indication of being anything other than the proverbial black swan. Who knows? Maybe the Victor Act is Carter’s gift to the people. We could definitely use some generosity ... 👍👍 If this is the case....then thank you John. It is very much appreciated.
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    Why not? Are we becoming segregated between Veterans and non veterans. An organ doesn’t care who it is going into, it just wants to live and do its job. A friend of mine received an cornea transplant from a non vet and he was a veteran. He thanked the parents graciously for the gift of sight. This should never have been an issue to begin with.
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    This is embarrassing that we need to debate this. If the organ is a viable match, of course! Veteran status shouldn’t even factor in to it!
    Like (6)
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    No-brainer.
    Like (5)
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    Does any Veteran accept blood donation from a non-veteran? All during WW II, my parents donated blood—they weren’t Veterans. Get real!...for once.
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    If a vet needs an organ transplant the vet should be able to get it the same way the rest of us do,
    Like (5)
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    If you perish and donate your organs, how the hell would you know it went to a vet anyway!
    Like (5)
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    This a no brainer. Why is it even a question?
    Like (4)
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    We should all have UNIVERSAL FREE HEALTHCARE.
    Like (4)
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    Why do we even have to vote on this? The system never fails to disappoint me when it comes to the lack of enforced common sense.
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    YES to giving veterans transplants from non-military donors! Thank you for addressing this.
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