Former Texas Congressman and Presidential Candidate Ron Paul claims the way to solve the organ donation problem in America is to allow people to buy and sell organs as they do with goods at a grocery store.
Paul wrote on his website The-Free-Foundation.org about cystic fibrosis patient Sarah Murnaghan, who was originally denied a lung transplant because she was too young to be on the adult transplant list, which begins at age 12. A federal judge intervened in her case and allowed her to get the transplant.
However, Paul says this all could have been avoided if Murnaghan and other transplant patients were allowed to buy their organs on the free market, which would award the highest bidder.
"If we trust the market to deliver food, shelter, and all other necessities, why should we not trust it to deliver healthcare—including organs?" Paul said. "If organ donors or their heirs were compensated for donating, more people would have an incentive to become organ donors,"
Paul said the cash-strapped middle class and poor people would benefit the most from buying organs, not the wealthy who can buy most of what they want.
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"Allowing the free market to alleviate the shortage of organs and reduce the costs of medial procedures like transplants would benefit the middle class and the poor, not the wealthy," he said.
He then claimed insurance companies, which often turn down life-saving procedures because of the cost, would suddenly step up and cover the cost of organs on an open-bidding market.
"The costs of obtaining organs would likely be covered by most health insurance plans, thus reducing the costs directly borne by individual patients," Paul said. "Furthermore, if current federal laws distorting the health care market are repealed, procedures such as transplants would be much more affordable."
Paul also advocated that poor people save up their own money in "health savings accounts" for transplant organs, which they could use to apparently outbid the wealthy for organs.
"Expanded access to health savings accounts and flexible savings accounts, combined with generous individual tax deductions and credits, would also make it easier for people to afford health care procedures such as transplants," Paul wrote.
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He concluded by saying that if people got paid for blood donations, they should be allowed to make money selling their organs.
"Hospitals and other private institutions provide compensation for blood and plasma donations, and men and women are compensated for donations to fertility clinics, so why not allow compensation for organ donation?" he said.