January 28, 2022

Young Urges Biden-Harris Administration to Reverse Unjust National Liver Distribution Policy

 

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Todd Young (R-Ind.) recently joined a group of Republican senators in sending a letter to Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Xavier Becerra urging the administration to reverse its flawed national liver distribution policy, which is disproportionately harmful to patients in Indiana and across the Midwest.

 

“For many years, Members of the Senate have expressed serious concerns about the Department of Health and Human Services’ contractor-driven organ allocation policy. These concerns have included issues with the Department ceding control to a contractor to determine all organ allocation decisions; limited oversight by the Department of the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network (OPTN) policymaking process, run by the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS); the UNOS Board’s orchestrated overruling of their expert Liver and Intestine Committee’s recommendations; and the Board’s failure to include all public comments in its consideration,” the senators wrote.

In the letter, the senators reference recently released emails that show a pattern of collusion between UNOS, a New England-area organ procurement organization, and others prior to the changes in the liver allocation policy being announced. 

The senators continued, “Mr. Secretary, these emails show, without a shadow of a doubt, that the liver allocation decision was fundamentally flawed, and the body charged with carrying it out is systematically broken. In particular, the adoption of the allocation policy for livers has been fraught with inconsistency, a lack of transparency, and clear violations by UNOS in determining the policy. Yet, in every instance that these concerns have been brought to the Department, they have been disregarded. It is time for the Department to reverse this biased, partial, and unjust allocation policy.”

 

Senator Young was joined by Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and U.S. Senators Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), Jerry Moran (R-Kan.), Richard Shelby (R-Ala.), Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), Roger Marshall (R-Kan.), John Boozman (R-Ark.), Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.), Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), Roger Wicker (R-Miss.), Josh Hawley (R-Mo.), Mike Braun (R-Ind.), Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), Tommy Tuberville (R-Ala.), and Tom Cotton (R-Ark.).

 

For full text of the letter, click here.

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