For Prairie Village woman who gave kidney, prospect of repealing ACA raises concerns about deterring altruistic organ donations


Representatives of Indivisible KC delivered the ACA story scrapbooks they compiled to Sen. Pat Roberts’ office last week.
When Prairie Village resident Stacey Donovan came across an article on kidney transplant waiting times a few years ago, she could hardly believe what she read. With thousands of patients across the country looking for a donor match, it’s unfortunately common for people to die waiting for a transplant.

A short time later, she found a personal journal online by a young man who described the experience of being on dialysis. His hopelessness hit her hard.

“People die on the waiting list every day,” she said. “I thought, ‘Okay, I’m healthy, this is something I could do.’”

She told her husband and her parents that she wanted to donate a kidney. Worried about the risks to her health, they pushed back.

“They were pretty against it,” Donovan said. “One of the things that gave me — and them — an extra measure of assurance was the [Affordable Care Act]. Before it became law, people who donated a kidney were listed as having a pre-existing condition, so you could easily get turned down for insurance.”

Both Donovan and her husband have health insurance through their employer, Hallmark, and Donovan said she’s always felt relatively secure in her job. But knowing that the ACA would ensure she had access to coverage in the event that her work-sponsored insurance disappeared for some reason made it easier for her family to accept her decision to make a donation. Continue reading