Press Release

June 7, 2024
Senators Leading Organ Procurement Reform Make Clear Congressional Intent to Ensure Adequate Oversight of Organ Transplant System
After Lobbying from Stakeholders Seeking to Limit Government Oversight of the OPTN and OPTN Board of Directors, Bipartisan Senators Clarify Statute as Authored by Congress

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-Md.) joined Senate Finance Committee Chair Ron Wyden, (D-Ore.) and Senators Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), Todd Young (R-Ind.), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) in sending a letter to the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network (OPTN) Board of Directors to correct several misunderstandings put forward by the board in recent weeks as implementation of the Securing the U.S. Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network Act continues.

“As co-authors and original co-sponsors of the Act, we would like to take this opportunity to remind you of the law’s intent and what the new statutory language requires,” the senators wrote. “First, combining the Board of Directors with the OPTN is not consistent with the congressional intent. Second, the statute in no way implies the OPTN Board is to be independent of the government. In fact, the statute makes clear that all OPTN functions are directly within the purview of HHS as they are carried out under the auspices of awards made by and overseen by HHS.” 

In early May, several of the senators sent a letter to the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) to share recommendations about the implementation of the law.

The full letter can be found here. Several documents referenced in the letter can be found here.