By Debbie Gregory.
The House has passed the Veterans Transplant Coverage Act of 2017, which requires the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to provide organ transplants to veterans from a live donor, regardless of whether or not that donor is a veteran.
Introduced by Texas Congressman John Carter, the bipartisan legislation guarantees that no veteran is denied transplant coverage.
“No Veteran should be denied a life-saving procedure due to bureaucratic red tape under the VA Choice Program,” said Rep. Carter. Current VA policy has excluded non-Veteran live donations from coverage under the VA Choice Program.
The Veterans Transplant Coverage Act also allows veterans to receive transplant operations at any VA or non-VA facility convenient for them.
The legislation has been supported by the American Legion, AMVETS, Got Your 6, Military Order of the Purple Heart, Paralyzed Veterans of America, and Veterans of Foreign Wars, among others.
Rep. Carter represents Texas District 31, which includes Fort Hood, the largest active duty armored military installation. He serves as Chairman of the Homeland Security Subcommittee on Appropriations, co-chairman of the Congressional Army Caucus, is on the Subcommittee for Commerce, Justice and Science and the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee.
The bill was co-sponsored by Michael McCaul, R-TX 10th; Doug LaMalfa, R-CA; Ted Poe, R-TX 2nd; Elise Stefanik, R-NY 21st; and Sanford Bishop Jr., D-GA 2n.