California: bill introduced for @CoveredCA & Medi-Cal enrollees let the state know if they want to be organ donors

Sometimes the simplest bills can have huge positive impacts. California Assembly Bill 503 was introduced by Democratic Assemblymember Juan Carrillo in February.

AB 503, as introduced, Juan Carrillo. Health care: organ donation enrollment. Existing law, the Uniform Anatomical Gift Act, authorizes the creation of a not-for-profit entity to be designated as the California Organ and Tissue Donor Registrar and requires that entity to establish and maintain the Donate Life California Organ and Tissue Donor Registry for persons who have identified themselves as organ and tissue donors upon their death. Existing law provides for the Medi-Cal program, administered by the State Department of Health Care Services and under which qualified low-income individuals receive health care services. The Medi-Cal program is, in part, governed and funded by federal Medicaid program provisions.

Existing law requires the department, in consultation with the board governing the California Health Benefit Exchange, to develop a single paper, electronic, and telephone application for insurance affordability programs, including Medi-Cal.

This bill would require the single application for insurance affordability programs to include a space for the applicant to enroll in the Donate Life California Organ and Tissue Donor Registry and would require the application to include specified check boxes for an applicant to indicate whether to add the applicant’s name to the registry. The bill would require the department to electronically transmit specified information related to enrollment in the registry on a weekly basis to the Donate Life California nonprofit organization.

As far as I can tell, all this bill would do is basically require Covered California (as well as the other methods of enrolling in Medi-Cal) to include a checkbox for enrollees to let the state know whether they want to become an organ donor. If they check it off (presumably after they've also entered all their pertinent personal information to verify their identity), they'd be added to the state's organ/tissue donor database.

This is pretty much a no-brainer in retrospect; every state should have this (including the federal exchange, HealthCare.Gov). With over 1.7 million Californians (and over 16 million Americans nationally) enrolling in ACA exchange plans this year, this is a simple way to make it easy for more people to become organ donors.