REPORT TITLE:
Approp. Medically Underserved


DESCRIPTION:
Makes appropriation to support primary health care for medically
underserved populations. (SD1)

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
                                                        1641
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES                H.B. NO.           H.D. 1
TWENTIETH LEGISLATURE, 1999                                S.D. 1
STATE OF HAWAII                                            
                                                             
________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________


                   A  BILL  FOR  AN  ACT

RELATING TO THE MEDICALLY UNDERSERVED.



BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF HAWAII:

 1      SECTION 1.  The legislature finds that it is in the best
 
 2 interest of the State to ensure access to primary and preventive
 
 3 health care to all its residents.  This care not only results in
 
 4 a healthier and more productive population but also reduces
 
 5 publicly-supported costs for hospital and emergency room use for
 
 6 preventable conditions.
 
 7      The legislature further finds that over 100,000 people in
 
 8 Hawaii, including over 30,000 children and over 10,000 elderly
 
 9 aged sixty-five and over, have no health insurance and that
 
10 number is rising.  The legislature further finds that budget
 
11 restrictions have forced the QUEST program to tighten eligibility
 
12 requirements which have cut 30,000 people from its enrollment.
 
13      The legislature further finds that particular pockets of
 
14 population demographics in Hawaii have disproportionately severe
 
15 health problems and a concurrent lack of health insurance and
 
16 health care accessibility.  For example, native Hawaiians have
 
17 higher mortality rates due to heart disease, cancer, diabetes,
 
18 asthma, and bronchitis, and a significant proportion of newly
 
19 arrived immigrants have hepatitis B, tuberculosis, and Hansen's
 

 
Page 2                                                     1641
                                     H.B. NO.           H.D. 1
                                                        S.D. 1
                                                        

 
 1 disease.  The increasing homeless population is a contributory
 
 2 factor to the poor health profile.  Poor health in children
 
 3 affects their growth and learning potential.  The legislature
 
 4 further finds that certain geographic areas in Hawaii, such as
 
 5 Ka'u, Puna, Hamakua, and Waianae, have some of the worse health
 
 6 indicators.
 
 7      The legislature further finds that budget restrictions have
 
 8 also affected the solvency of safety-net providers such as
 
 9 community health centers and other nonprofit organizations that
 
10 predominantly serve the QUEST and uninsured populations.  
 
11      The purpose of this Act is to appropriate funds for the
 
12 medically underserved populations.
 
13      SECTION 2.  There is appropriated out of the general
 
14 revenues of the State of Hawaii the sum of $          , or so
 
15 much thereof as may be necessary for fiscal year 1999-2000, to
 
16 support primary health care for medically underserved
 
17 populations.
 
18      The sum appropriated shall be expended by the department of
 
19 health for the purposes of this Act.
 
20      SECTION 3.  There is appropriated out of the general
 
21 revenues of the State of Hawaii the sum of $          , or so
 
22 much thereof as may be necessary for fiscal year 1999-2000, to
 
23 provide health care services for the uninsured at eight community
 

 
Page 3                                                     1641
                                     H.B. NO.           H.D. 1
                                                        S.D. 1
                                                        

 
 1 health centers on three islands.
 
 2      The sum appropriated shall be expended by the department of
 
 3 health for the purposes of this Act.
 
 4      SECTION 4.  This Act shall take effect on July 1, 1999.