WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) – a member of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies – today spoke during a subcommittee hearing after the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) announced its intent to overhaul the organ procurement and transplantation network (OPTN) contract. During the hearing, Sen. Moran secured a commitment from Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Xavier Becerra that the department will work to create a more transparent and open process for the OPTN contract.
“My former colleague Roy Blunt and I have continually flagged for your department how harmful and unfair your rule is for the Midwest and the South,” said Sen. Moran. “Today’s announcement that the Health Resources and Services Administration is proposing to divide up the OPTN contract and open competition for contracts to new organizations is certainly a step in the right direction. I am hoping that the department is, in my view, taking the life and death battles of Americans, the battles they are facing through the current OPTN system, seriously.”
The contract has been held by the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) for more than 30 years. In 2018, the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) developed a new liver allocation policy that colluded against Midwest and Southern states. As the result of a lawsuit, UNOS was required to publicly release emails in 2021 that revealed clear collusion between UNOS, a New England-area organ procurement organization, and others as they crafted the new liver allocation policy.
Timeline of Sen. Moran’s involvement in ending the UNOS contract:
- September 2022: Sen. Moran publishes op-ed in Modern Healthcare titled, “Competition needed to address a flawed organ donation system”
- January 2022: Moran and Blunt lead 14 senators in demanding Biden administration reverse its “biased, partial, and unjust” National Liver Distribution Policy
- December 2021: Sens. Moran and Blunt publish op-ed in the Kansas City Star titled, “System for liver plants is rigged against those who live in the Midwest or South”
- December 2021: Sens. Moran and Blunt demand HHS reverse flawed liver allocation policy
- February 2020: Moran speaks on Senate Floor regarding harmful national liver allocation policy
- January 2020: Sens. Moran and Blunt urge HHS to continue delaying changes to National Liver Distribution Policy
- August 2019: Sens. Moran and Blunt press HHS Secretary Azar on proposed changes to kidney, pancreas allocation policies
- May 2019: Sens. Moran and Blunt call for delay in Liver Allocation Policy pending GAO study
- April 2019: Moran questions HHS Secretary Azar on liver allocation policy
- January 2019: Sens. Moran and Blunt, 20 Senate colleagues demand answers on changes to National Liver Distribution Policy
- December 2018: Sens. Moran and Blunt challenge flawed changes to National Liver Distribution Policy