STAND. COM. REP. NO. 3207
RE: H.B. No. 1778
Honorable Ronald D. Kouchi
President of the Senate
Twenty-Ninth State Legislature
Regular Session of 2018
State of Hawaii
Your Committees on Labor and Commerce, Consumer Protection, and Health, to which was referred H.B. No. 1778, H.D. 1, entitled:
"A BILL FOR AN ACT RELATING TO WORKERS' COMPENSATION MEDICAL BENEFITS,"
beg leave to report as follows:
The purpose and intent of this measure is to:
(1) In the event of a controverted workers' compensation claim, require an injured employee's private health care plan to pay for or provide medical care, services, and supplies; provided that when the claim is accepted, the employer shall reimburse the private health care plan and injured employee; and
(2) In the event of an accepted workers' compensation claim for leukemia, multiple myeloma, non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, or certain cancers by a firefighter with five or more years of service, require an employer to be liable for one hundred thirty-seven percent of medical care, services, and supplies.
Your Committees received testimony in support of this measure from Hawaii State Fire Council; Honolulu Fire Department; Office of the Mayor of the County of Hawaii; Maui County Department of Fire and Public Safety; Hawaii Fire Department of the County of Hawaii; Hawaii Fire Fighters Association, Local 1463, IAFF, AFL-CIO; and O‘ahu County Committee on Legislative Priorities of the Democratic Party of Hawai‘i. Your Committees received comments on this measure from the Department of Labor and Industrial Relations and Department of Human Resources Development.
Your Committees find that firefighters are exposed to multiple carcinogens and toxicants that are known or suspected to cause cancer through incident exposure as residential and vehicle fires release highly concentrated toxicants from plastics and synthetics. This exposure places firefighters at significantly higher risks than the general population of getting testicular cancer, multiple myeloma, non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, skin cancer, brain and malignant melanoma, rectal cancer, prostate cancer, buccal cavity and pharynx cancer, stomach cancer, colon cancer, and leukemia. Your Committees believe that providing sufficient medical coverage for firefighters recognizes the inherent occupational hazards that come with the job, ensures that firefighters receive proper medical treatment in a timely manner, and lessens the impact of emotional toil, financial burdens, and decreased quality of life on the families of firefighters diagnosed with cancer.
Your Committees have amended this measure by:
(1) Inserting an effective date of January 1, 3000, to encourage further discussion; and
(2) Making technical, nonsubstantive amendments for the purposes of clarity and consistency.
As affirmed by the records of votes of the members of your Committees on Labor and Commerce, Consumer Protection, and Health that are attached to this report, your Committees are in accord with the intent and purpose of H.B. No. 1778, H.D. 1, as amended herein, and recommend that it pass Second Reading in the form attached hereto as H.B. No. 1778, H.D. 1, S.D. 1, and be referred to your Committee on Ways and Means.
Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committees on Labor and Commerce, Consumer Protection, and Health,
ROSALYN H. BAKER, Chair
JILL N. TOKUDA, Chair