Engel, LaMalfa Hail Federal Court Decision Not to Delay Implementation of New OPTN Liver Allocation Policy

We would again like to thank Rep. Engel and Rep. LaMalfa for their continued support of the new OPTN liver allocation policy. Hopefully with their support, the policy will be implemented as intended and benefit those individuals who are in need of a liver transplant the most.

Washington, D.C.— U.S. Representatives Eliot Engel (NY-16) and Doug LaMalfa (CA-01) praised a federal court’s decision not to delay implementation of the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network’s (OPTN) new, national liver allocation policy that prioritizes patient need.

On April 23, a group of hospitals sued to delay the implementation of this new liver allocation policy, endangering the health of patients in states such as New York and California. On Monday, a federal judge in the Northern District of Georgia denied the plaintiff’s request, allowing the policy to move forward.

This past March, Reps. Engel and LaMalfa led 81 of their House colleagues in a letter to Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar urging implementation of the new policy.

“I am pleased that the courts have dismissed this arbitrary lawsuit, allowing OPTN’s new, fairer liver allocation policy to move forward,” Rep. Eliot Engel said.  “This decision is a major win for New Yorkers and Americans who have been needlessly left to suffer under the old policy, which often prevented people from receiving care due to their zip code. Allocation of organs should be based on patients’ medical need, not where they live. This decision will save lives. I am grateful for Rep. LaMalfa’s leadership and the support of my House colleagues who helped push this new policy forward.”

“This entire process has been as open and transparent as possible, and I’m glad the courts have allowed this important new OPTN policy to proceed,” Rep. Doug LaMalfa said. “This model will save lives in places like California and New York, and it ensures patients are treated fairly according to their actual medical need instead of where they live. It’s a shame that our progress was delayed, but I’m looking forward to the implementation of this fairer, more realistic liver allocation policy.”

Billy Wynne