The Kidney Dialogues: "A Preexisting Condition"

by Patrick Appel

A reader writes:

One of the unspoken pitfalls of being a living donor is that, under current law, health insurers can consider your lack of a second kidney as a preexisting condition.  My dad gave my brother a kidney just two years ago.  He applied for new health insurance, only to be denied.  My mom's health insurance still covers him, but her job as a Catholic school teacher is increasingly unstable from year to year.  My dad still has a few years until Medicare kicks in, so we're all holding our breath that it my mom keeps her current job (and his current insurance) until then. 

My brother will need a second transplant at some point in his life as he just turned 30.  I am the other match that we found among family members.  I only hope that the law has changed before my kidney is needed.  I can't imagine, when the time comes, having my own children without being able to get covered by health insurance.

Until laws change and being a living donor becomes more economically feasible, then I'm afraid many tens of thousands of people will continue to die each year on the waiting list. 

2006-2011 archives for The Daily Dish, featuring Andrew Sullivan

How to Cook Spaghetti Squash (and Why)

Cooking for yourself is one of the surest ways to eat well. Bestselling author Mark Bittman teaches James Hamblin the recipe that everyone is Googling.

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

How to Cook Spaghetti Squash (and Why)

Cooking for yourself is one of the surest ways to eat well.

Video

Before Tinder, a Tree

Looking for your soulmate? Write a letter to the "Bridegroom's Oak" in Germany.

Video

The Health Benefits of Going Outside

People spend too much time indoors. One solution: ecotherapy.

Video

Where High Tech Meets the 1950s

Why did Green Bank, West Virginia, ban wireless signals? For science.

Video

Yes, Quidditch Is Real

How J.K. Rowling's magical sport spread from Hogwarts to college campuses

Video

Would You Live in a Treehouse?

A treehouse can be an ideal office space, vacation rental, and way of reconnecting with your youth.

Just In