Jesus Navarro

Illegal Immigrant Denied Transplant Even With Donor and Insurance

Jesus Navarro seriously must be pissed off right now. He has been suffering from Kidney Failure for more than ten years and is on dialysis. He has health insurance, he has a willing donor (his wife) and his donor has a compatible blood type. All he is missing is the Green Card to make the transplant happen.

Yes you read that right. He is being denied the surgery because he is an illegal immigrant. USCF the hopital where he gets dialysis is refusing to do the surgery because he is an undocumented immigrant.

Recce Fawley, UCSF’s executive director of transplantation, said in a statement,

“UCSF’s policy for financial clearance requires candidates to present evidence of adequate and stable insurance coverage or other financial sources necessary to sustain follow-up care long after transplant surgery. Immigration status is among many factors taken into consideration.”

Navarro is here illegally but has been working for Pacific Steel for 14 years and covered under his health insurance. He lost his job this month because of an internal immigration sweep at the company but his insurance company says they will still cover the surgery.

If he loses his insurance, Navarro will be forced into California’s Medi-Cal program which will pay for dialysis, but not the surgery or the drugs he will need for years after the surgery. UCSF says its decision to deny him the surgery is based on his lack of ability to pay for the drugs if he loses his insurance.

According to a study by the United Network for Organ Sharing, undocumented immigrants in the United States donate significantly more organs than they receive. Transplant Week reports:

“Immigrants who are in the U.S. without proper papers account for about 2 percent of all cadaver organs donated in the United States and receive just over one percent of all U.S. organ transplants, according to UNOS.”

Last year, in New York City, a similar case was to be had where NYC insurance refused the $100,000 surgery for an undocumented worker who had a donor. The agreed to keep paying his $75,000 dialysis bill.

The New York Times reports:

“As a physician, it puts you in a real ethical dilemma,” said Dr. Eric Manheimer, Bellevue’s medical director, “The ultimate irony is it’s cheaper to put in a transplant than to dialyze someone for the rest of their life. Here’s the paradox: he could donate, but he can’t receive,”

Do you think that America is a place where Jesus Navarro should be able to get his new kidney?