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Trump administration announces move aimed to increase organ donations

Trump administration announces move aimed to increase organ donations
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The Trump administration on Tuesday announced a proposal to overhaul the organ donation process to encourage more donations and hold organizations that facilitate them accountable. 

The Department of Health and Human Services said that 20 people die each day while on the waitlist for a life-saving organ transplant, and that the new rules are intended to reduce that number and save lives. 

The announcement is part of a range of health care moves that the Trump administration has been touting in an effort to show that Trump is making progress on health care, an issue Democrats used to great effect in the 2018 elections. 

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Officials said they are trying to make progress in health care areas unrelated to ObamaCare, after failing to repeal and replace that law in 2017. White House Domestic Policy Council Director Joe Grogan told reporters on Tuesday the organ announcement is part of an effort to “widen the aperture from an obsession with ObamaCare.”

The proposed rules would impose tougher accountability standards on organ procurement organizations, which help facilitate organ donations, including changing evaluations from once every four years to every year, officials said. 

The administration is also proposing to increase the financial incentives for people to donate organs, particularly kidneys, while they are still alive, by expanding the items donors can be reimbursed for to include lost wages. 

Officials said they hope to increase the number of annual transplants from 32,000 to 37,000 by 2026 with the new rules. 

“Every day, twenty Americans die waiting for an organ and thousands of Americans are languishing on waitlists,” said Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Administrator Seema Verma. “That is unacceptable and represents a missed opportunity to save lives and improve patients’ quality of life.”