STAND. COM. REP. NO. 1569
RE: S.R. No. 177
Honorable Ronald D. Kouchi
President of the Senate
Thirty-Second State Legislature
Regular Session of 2023
State of Hawaii
Your Committee on Health and Human Services, to which was referred S.R. No. 177 entitled:
"SENATE RESOLUTION REQUESTING THE DEPARTMENT OF HUMAN SERVICES TO STUDY PROVIDING CERTAIN HEALTH INSURANCE COVERAGE FOR ALL CHILDREN AND PREGNANT PERSONS WHO WOULD OTHERWISE QUALIFY FOR COVERAGE IF NOT FOR THEIR IMMIGRATION STATUS,"
begs leave to report as follows:
The purpose and intent of this measure is to request the Department of Human Services to study providing certain health insurance coverage for all children and pregnant persons who would otherwise qualify for coverage if not for their immigration status.
Your Committee received testimony in support of this measure from the Hawaii Friends of Civil Rights, Hawai‘i Children's Action Network Speaks!, Hawai‘i Coalition for Immigrant Rights, and three individuals. Your Committee received comments on this measure from the Department of Human Services.
Your Committee finds that prenatal care is fundamental to reproductive and infant health and that health care services for children are critical to children's well-being and development. Despite the importance of health care, undocumented immigrants are unable to receive health insurance coverage through Medicaid and health exchanges established under part II of the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Lack of access to affordable health care prevents many low-income undocumented immigrants from receiving routine and emergency medical care and leads to persistent inequities in the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of health conditions for these individuals. Studying the State's capacity to expand access to health care coverage to all children and pregnant persons, regardless of immigration status, is therefore a critical first step to addressing health inequity in the State.
Your Committee has amended this measure by:
(1) Requesting the Department of Human Services to submit a report on the study proposed by this measure to the Legislature no later than twenty days prior to the convening of the Regular Session of 2024, rather than by October 31, 2023; and
(2) 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 concurs with the intent and purpose of S.R. No. 177, as amended herein, and recommends its adoption in the form attached hereto as S.R. No. 177, S.D. 1.
Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committee on Health and Human Services,
JOY A. SAN BUENAVENTURA, Chair