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Kind Introduces Bill to Support Cord Blood Banking

March 24, 2009
Press Release

Washington, DC – U.S. Rep. Ron Kind (D-WI) today joined Representatives Wally Herger (R-CA), Artur Davis (D-AL), Bill Pascrell Jr. (D-NJ), and Mike Thompson (D-CA) in introducing the Family Cord Blood Banking Act, which would expand adult stem cell research opportunities, improve access to life-saving technology, and reduce expenses for families investing in their health and well-being. 

“Embryonic stem cell transplants may be controversial, but cord blood stem cells are not.  When it comes to fighting cancer, blood disorders, and immune diseases, researchers say that stem cells from umbilical cord blood may be an effective tool for treatment,” said Rep. Kind, who is a member of the Ways and Means Subcommittee on Health. “This legislation supports families that choose this potentially life-saving investment by providing tax incentives for these medical expenses.” 

Collecting and processing cord blood stem cells can cost $2,000 and storing it can cost up to $150 per year. The Family Cord Blood Banking Act amends Internal Revenue Code to add cord blood banking services as a qualified medical expense. This would allow individuals and couples to pay for umbilical cord blood banking services through flexible spending accounts (FSAs), health savings accounts (HSAs) health reimbursement arrangements (HRAs), or the medical expenses tax deduction.

Umbilical cord blood stem cells have been used in more than 14,000 transplants around the world and have been used to treat more than 70 diseases in adults and children. This legislation could make this an option for more families facing potentially life-threatening diseases, increase the supply of cord blood stem cells, and lower the costs for families in the future.

This measure is supported by the Brain Injury Association of America, the National Association of Nurse Practitioners in Women’s Health, and the Parent’s Guide to Cord Blood Foundation.