Governor Cuomo signs legislation that provides the option to enroll in the New York State Donate Life Registry on New York State of Health applications
Albany, NY- The New York Alliance for Donation (NYAD) is pleased to announce that Governor Cuomo has signed A.9667-A (Gunther) / S.6952-A (Hannon) into law. Beginning in 2017, New Yorkers applying for health insurance through the New York State of Health Benefit Exchange, will have the opportunity to enroll in the New York State Donate Life Registry directly on their health plan applications.
New York's shortage of organ and tissue donors is a public health crisis and the passage of A.9667-A/ S.6952-A is a significant step in ending this public health crisis. New Yorkers need more opportunities to register their consent to make a lifesaving and changing donation, and this new law addresses that need. Although there is more work to be done, this lifesaving law helps remedy the following realities:
• New York has the third highest need for organ donors in the country and second lowest percentage of registered donors;
• Approximately 10,000 New Yorkers are on the national transplant waiting list;
• Nearly 1,800 New Yorkers have been waiting for transplants for more than five years; and
• More than 500 New York men, women and children die due to the shortage of donors each year.
Senate sponsor, Senator Kemp Hannon explained, "Until now the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) and the Board of Elections (BOE) were the primary method for New York State residents to register as organ, eye and tissue donors. Unfortunately, these portals have only garnered a quarter of New York's eligible population to enroll in the registry. The health exchange enrolls over 2 million individuals into public and private insurance each year, and this new law will make sure they are asked to become donors as well. I am proud that my colleagues in the Legislature and Governor Cuomo created a new pathway for New Yorkers to give the gift of life."
Assembly sponsor, Assemblywoman Aileen Gunther said, "Giving New Yorkers more opportunities to enroll as donors has been a proven path to success in the past. For example, during the first year that the New York City Municipal Identification card application included the option to enroll in the registry, nearly 100,000 enrolled in the New York State Donate Life Registry. The more frequent and convenient opportunities a person has to enroll in the registry, the more people will adopt this lifesaving mission. I applaud my colleagues for passing A.9667-A/ S.6952-A and Governor Cuomo for signing it into law. The shortage of donors in New York has lasted far too long, and I am glad that New York is addressing this critical need."
"The New York Alliance for Donation, along with the entire donation community in New York, thanks Governor Cuomo and the New York State Senate and Assembly for taking the bold step to bring about significant change in our state. The impact this legislation will have on the individuals in need of lifesaving donations, as well as their families and friends, is immeasurable. We are overwhelmed by the support we have been given from our elected representatives and look forward to continuing our work with them to further combat this public health crisis," said Aisha Tator, Executive Director of NYAD.
The New York Alliance for Donation (NYAD) is a not-for-profit with a mission to increase organ, eye and tissue donation in New York State through collaborative advocacy, education, promotion, and research. Our goal is to ensure a transplant for every New Yorker in need. NYAD is comprised of the four organ procurement organizations, three eye and tissue banks and/or processors, and affiliates, including dedicated donation and transplantation professionals.