STAND. COM. REP. NO. 1266

 

Honolulu, Hawaii

 

RE: H.B. No. 278

H.D. 1

S.D. 1

 

 

 

Honorable Ronald D. Kouchi

President of the Senate

Thirty-Second State Legislature

Regular Session of 2023

State of Hawaii

 

Sir:

 

Your Committee on Health and Human Services, to which was referred H.B. No. 278, H.D. 1, entitled:

 

"A BILL FOR AN ACT RELATING TO HEALTH,"

 

begs leave to report as follows:

 

The purpose and intent of this measure is to:

 

(1) Establish and appropriate funds for a working group to plan and implement a public health campaign for awareness of Alzheimer's disease and other related dementias; and

 

(2) Appropriate funds for the Executive Office on Aging to create an Alzheimer's disease and related dementias public health campaign.

 

Your Committee received testimony in support of this measure from the State Council on Developmental Disabilities; Alzheimer's Association Hawaii; Hawaii Primary Care Association; Hawaii Family Caregiver Coalition; United Public Workers, AFSCME Local 646, AFL-CIO; AARP Hawaii; Iron Workers Stabilization Fund; and eight individuals. Your Committee received comments on this measure from the Executive Office on Aging.

 

Your Committee finds that Alzheimer's disease is a public health crisis across the country and is currently the sixth leading cause of death in the United States. In Hawaii, approximately twenty-nine thousand individuals aged sixty-five and older live with Alzheimer's disease, a figure that is projected to increase by 20.7 percent by 2025. Furthermore, 6.7 percent of individuals in the State aged forty-five and over reported an increase in confusion or worsening memory loss, putting them at risk of later developing dementia; however, more than two-thirds have not discussed the issue with their health care providers. Your Committee also finds that a number of new therapies approved by the federal Food and Drug Administration may allow more people to participate in daily activities, remain independent, and decide on the future of their health. These therapies are beneficial at the early onset of the disease, and therefore, early detection and diagnosis are critical. This measure will allow implementation of a public awareness campaign to educate the public on early signs of cognitive impairment, the value of early detection and diagnosis, and the importance of discussing with health care professionals any changes in memory and thinking.

 

Your Committee acknowledges testimonies raising concerns that the establishment of a working group under this measure would be duplicative, since the Executive Office on Aging received the Building Our Largest Dementia (BOLD) Infrastructure for Alzheimer's Program Award from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in 2020, which led to the development of working groups, including one that is centered on addressing public awareness and education. Accordingly, amendments to this measure are necessary to address this concern.

 

Your Committee notes that although this measure contains an unspecified appropriation amount, should your Committee on Ways and Means choose to deliberate on this measure, your Committee respectfully requests that it consider appropriating $500,000 for fiscal year 2023-2024 for the Executive Office on Aging to create an Alzheimer's disease and related dementias public health campaign.

 

Your Committee has amended this measure by:

 

(1) Deleting language that would have established and appropriated funds for a working group to plan and implement a public health campaign for awareness of Alzheimer's disease and other related dementias;

 

(2) Amending section 1 to reflect its amended purpose;

 

(3) Making it effective upon its approval; and

 

(4) Making technical, nonsubstantive amendments for the purposes of clarity and consistency.

 

As affirmed by the record of votes of the members of your Committee on Health and Human Services that is attached to this report, your Committee is in accord with the intent and purpose of H.B. No. 278, H.D. 1, as amended herein, and recommends that it pass Second Reading in the form attached hereto as H.B. No. 278, 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 Committee on Health and Human Services,

 

 

 

________________________________

JOY A. SAN BUENAVENTURA, Chair