Captain's Quarters Blog

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March 5, 2004
Of Course, I'm Biased, But ...

With all of the health issues at the home port lately, this story from the St. Paul Pioneer Press jumped out at me today:

If a bill to give a tax break to living organ donors had been a football, its supporters would have scored a quick touchdown Thursday during a House Tax Committee hearing. ... Under the proposal, Minnesotans who donate a kidney, lung, bone marrow or part of their liver, pancreas or intestine would be able to deduct up to $10,000 on their taxes for out-of-pocket expenses, including travel, lodging, time off from work and extra baby-sitting fees.

"People should not suffer financially for giving the gift of life to others,'' said Rep. Erik Paulsen, R-Eden Prairie, the bill's author. Najarian said the tax break would not entice people into becoming organ donors but it would remove the financial disincentives that prevent some from making the commitment.

We have been blessed to have a good friend volunteer to donate a kidney, and while my medical insurance will cover all of her medical costs as well as the First Mate's, I'd be lying if the issue of her lost wages and ancillary expenses hasn't made us somewhat reluctant to accept her generous offer. She has assured us that she doesn't see it as a problem, and as healthy as she is and with the surgery being done mostly laparascopically, her recovery period will probably be just two to three weeks. That's not always the case, and for those who just get by, donation may not be financially possible.

Giving donors a tax deduction may not solve all of the financial worries and wouldn't make an impact until the following year, but it certainly would help. It would also promote the practice of organ donation, especially kidneys, which can easily be donated by live, healthy people. The economic benefit in restoring the health of productive citizens would outweigh its impact on revenues, but most importantly, would demonstrate the value of life as a central principle in our community.

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Posted by Ed Morrissey at March 5, 2004 7:56 PM

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